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Volkswagen’s Elli and Elia Group partner to integrate EVs into the grid

Elli, the Volkswagen subsidiary that manages all activities related to charging and energy for the Group in Europe, the Elia Group and its start-up re.alto signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Berlin. The MoU underscores the signatories’ shared vision of integrating electric cars into the electricity system. Over the next few years, the partners will identify possible barriers to EV integration and explore how to showcase its benefits, for example by developing demonstrators.

The Elia Group is a key player in electricity transmission in Europe. The Group ensures that production and consumption are balanced, supplying 30 million end users with electricity. Through its subsidiaries in Belgium (Elia) and the north and east of Germany (50Hertz), the company operates 19,192 km of high-voltage connections.

The signatories Elli, Elia and re.alto say that the batteries of electric vehicles can help stabilize grids as the share of volatile, renewable energies increases. Consumers will be able to charge their EVs when there are high amounts of affordable renewable energy in the system and inject the electricity stored in their EVs back into the grid when it needs it most.

An essential key to achieving climate neutrality lies in linking of the energy and mobility sectors. Using the electric vehicle battery as a mobile power bank delivers a triple benefit: Firstly, the climate benefits as renewable energy can be stored and therefore be used more efficiently; secondly, the electric grid benefits, as the car can contribute toward grid stability, and thirdly, the customer can earn additional revenue with vehicle-to-grid services. To explore the benefits of this consumer-centric approach, this cooperation with Elia Group is crucial for us.

—Elke Temme, the CEO of Elli (Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH) and Senior Vice President of Charging & Energy at Volkswagen AG

In their MoU, Elli, the Elia Group and re.alto agreed on joint activities that they would undertake to achieve their shared goal of highlighting the benefits of integrating e-vehicles into the electricity system. The companies’ work will focus on four areas:

  1. Price signals/incentives: exploration into ways that price signals will enable and incentivise e-vehicle owners to use their assets as decentralised storage capacity through vehicle-to-grid technology and thus support the power system.

  2. Market design: exploration of how to give consumers the freedom to choose their energy supplier, no matter where they have travelled. This will also involve working on removing barriers that are preventing EV fleets and consumers from choosing their suppliers, smart charging service providers and aggregators at charging poles.

  3. Trusted data: ensuring that e-vehicle data is recognised as reliable and secure and can be used by the power system.

  4. Data security and safe connectivity: exploration of mechanisms that allow the safe transmission of data and defining roles and responsibilities related to steering the charging behaviour of e-vehicles whilst ensuring connectivity remains safe and secure.

Each partner will contribute its own expertise to the work on the four fields. Elli will share its experience as a provider of charging infrastructure, mobility services, flexibility services and electricity provider. The know-how of the Elia Group centres on the challenges and opportunities that the energytransition is creating for the electricity system. re.alto—which was established by the Elia Group in 2019—has an extensive understanding of digital marketplaces and the connection of energy data as well as of digital products for application programming interfaces.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding also strengthens and expands the relationship between 50Hertz (the German subsidiary of the Elia Group) and Elli. This relationship was initiated in 2020 and has already conducted projects related to operating reserve markets.

The Volkswagen Group has made charging and energy a part of its core business in its NEW AUTO strategy.


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