“Terminals like that, there are only 200 in France. It would take tens of thousands and that’s what will happen” in the coming years, assures Tanguy Poupart, founder of Dreev, a subsidiary of EDF specializing in the development of smart charging for electric vehicles.
Behind him, in the small parking lot of the municipal technical center of Villeneuve-les-Avignon, two white utilities are connected to one of the so-called “V2G” terminals installed for nearly two years in this town of 12,000 inhabitants, located opposite the City of the Popes.
Soon, two new terminals, of the “V1G” type, will be installed behind the town hall to recharge municipal vehicles in particular. V1G, or smart charging, allows terminals to optimize vehicle charging by taking into account the local production of solar panels, for example. This fine management saves up to 20% of the bill, according to EDF, which plans to launch a first offer open to individuals in the spring.
From the car to the network
“Vehicle to home” (V2H) and “vehicle to grid” (V2G) technologies go further. Under development, they allow electric cars to charge their battery when there is a lot of electricity available (at night, or when the wind is blowing). They reinject it into a house (V2H), a neighborhood or even the electrical network in general (V2G) when it lacks power (in the evening for example). On returning home, the motorist indicates the autonomy he might need the next day and his terminal controls the charging according to his needs and those of the network.
“This is one of the solutions for the electrical system of tomorrow”, underlines Olivier Dubois, in charge of electric mobility at EDF. “It will make it possible to develop renewable energies (solar, wind), which operate intermittently. It will avoid having to call on thermal power stations during peak periods, in winter”.
With the proliferation of electric cars, V2G could meet electricity storage needs by 2030 in most countries of the world, according to calculations by researcher Chengjian Xu, from Leiden University in the Netherlands. This calculation also includes the reuse of used batteries which, from a 20% or 30% loss of autonomy, are considered insufficient for cars but remain valuable for storage.
V2G should first be developed for fleets of buses or trucks that systematically connect, explains Olivier Dubois. The Occitanie region supports communities and companies that will equip themselves with a bonus of 1,500 euros for V1G and 3,000 euros for V2G. The United Kingdom is also experimenting with a few hundred chargers, while Renault and Hyundai are testing this type of equipment on vehicle fleets in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Renault presented on Monday a new compatible charger which should arrive on the market around 2024. “It’s promising but it’s not a miracle solution”, tempers Luis Lopez, an expert from the International Energy Agency. These storage capacities on wheels are likely to be insufficient and it will also be necessary for the electrical system, the charging stations and the cars to “speak the same language”.
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