Renault Group has launched a large-scale pilot of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology in Europe.
The manufacturer’s alternating-current technology uses an onboard reversible charger, so it just requires a simple, low-cost adaptation of existing charging terminals.
A fleet of 15 specially adapted Renault Zoe vehicles will be introduced over the course of 2019 to help develop the manufacturer’s future offerings in reversible charging and lay the groundwork for common standards.
Initial pilots will take place in Portugal and the Netherlands, with further trials planned for France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.
V2G technology modulates the charging and discharging of electric-vehicle batteries in accordance with users’ needs and the grid’s supply of available electricity.
By allowing motorists to sell their cars’ battery power back to the grid at times of high demand, two-way charging technology has the potential to help balance the network and delay or avoid the need to invest in new generating infrastructure. It could also support the uptake of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, by increasing the total energy storage capacity available to suppliers.
At the same time, customers benefit from cheaper electricity and are financially rewarded for serving the electricity grid.
Through the trials, Renault Group hopes to measure the feasibility of the technology and demonstrate its value to local and national grid operators.
“Vehicle-to-grid charging is a key pillar of the smart electric ecosystems that Groupe Renault has set up,” said Gilles Normand, the company’s director of electric vehicles. “We have chosen onboard technology that also optimises the cost of recharging stations and thus facilitates a large-scale development.”