We are waiting for smart charging stations

Technologies tested in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon should help reduce CO emissions2stabilize the network and even reduce bills.

Le Point Auto with AFP

The Renault 5 Prototype heralds the diamond brand’s first electric model (expected in 2024) to be offered with a two-way charging system.

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THERE ISWhile the government’s goal of 100,000 charging stations by 2020 has yet to be met (there were 82,107 as of December 31, 2022), certain experiences give us a glimpse of what the smart grid could be in years to come. to come “There are only 200 such terminals in France. It will take tens of thousands and it will,” assures Tanguy Poupart, founder of Dreev, an EDF subsidiary specializing in the development of smart charging for electric vehicles. Behind him, in the small parking lot of the municipal technical center of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, two white utilities are connected to one of the so-called “V2G” terminals that have been installed for nearly two years in this city of 12,000 inhabitants. City of Popes.

V1G or smart charging

Soon, two new “V1G” type terminals will be installed behind the town hall, especially for charging municipal vehicles. V1G, or smart charging, allows terminals to optimize car charging, for example, taking into account the local production of solar panels. This nifty management saves up to 20% on the bill, according to EDF, which plans to launch its first offer open to individuals in the spring.

V2H, V2G or two-way charging

Vehicle to home (V2H) and vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies go even further. In development, they allow electric vehicles to charge their batteries when electricity is plentiful (at night or when the wind is blowing). When there is no power (for example, in the evening), they tap back into the home (V2H), the neighborhood, or the grid in general (V2G). On the way home, the driver shows the autonomy he will need the next day and his terminal controls the charge according to his needs and the needs of the network. “This is one of the solutions for tomorrow’s electricity system,” says Olivier Dubois, head of electric mobility at EDF. “This will allow the development of intermittent renewable energies (solar, wind). This will avoid calling the thermal power plants during peak periods, in winter. »

With the spread of electric cars, V2G could meet the electricity storage needs of most countries around the world by 2030, according to calculations by Chengjian Xu, a researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands. This calculation also includes the reuse of used batteries, which are considered insufficient for cars due to a 20% or 30% loss of autonomy, but remain valuable for storage. Olivier Dubois explains that V2G should first be developed for systematically connecting buses or trucks. The Occitanie region supports communities and companies to equip themselves with 1,500 euros for V1G and 3,000 euros for V2G. The UK is also experimenting with several hundred chargers, while Renault and Hyundai are testing such equipment in car parks in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Renault on Monday unveiled a new compatible charger that will hit the market in 2024. “It’s promising, but it’s not a miracle solution,” said Luis Lopez, an expert at the International Energy Agency. These on-wheel storage facilities will likely be insufficient and will also be needed for the electrical system, charging stations and cars to “speak the same language”. »

An electric car makes money when it is connected to the grid

Several car models are starting to talk about V2G: in addition to the flagship Nissan Leaf, the most powerful Volkswagens (77 kWh motor) are compatible with this two-way charging, as well as some Teslas. In the United States, Ford F-150 pickups have already refueled homes destroyed after hurricanes or during snowstorms. Xu warns that drivers will not plug into the grid unless asked to. This will include the introduction of micropayments for individuals and bonds for businesses. Owners of electric vehicles may especially fear that these cycles will reduce battery life, which is limited to a few thousand cycles. Renault’s head of advanced technologies, Jean-Francois Sales, assures that, unlike ultra-fast chargers, “soft” charging at the terminal at home does not harm the chemistry of the batteries. ” Lungs the battery can store it, it’s like a mobile phone,” emphasizes Mr. Salesi. “And if you’re going on vacation, you leave your car plugged in and it makes money while you’re away. »

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