Nissan Announces 62kWh LEAF e+ N-TEC. With Free V2G Charger!

A Nissan press release has just landed in my in box, and I’m now so excited I’m going to reproduce it in reverse order! The final bullet point reads as follows:

Earlier in the release the following points are also mentioned:

Nissan has confirmed the all-electric LEAF range will benefit from a new N-TEC limited edition, joining the cross car line N-TEC versions of Micra, Qashqai and X-Trail, which were launched in January.LEAF e+ N-TEC 2020

Priced at £32,795 OTR (including the £3,500 Government Grant) the LEAF e+ N-TEC creates a new accessible price point for the higher 62kWh capacity battery drivetrain. Launched in summer 2019, the e+ version of LEAF delivers 217PS of power, 340Nm of torque and up to 239 miles of range (WLTP combined) on a single charge.

The LEAF e+ was previously available as a range-topping Tekna version. The new N-TEC edition, limited to just 1,000 examples, is based on the N-Connecta grade of the 40kWh line-up, but with added technology and styling, complementing the higher capacity 62kWh battery.

The N-TEC specification adds:

  • LED Pack and LED fog lights with cornering function (usually £495 option)
  • ProPILOT with Lane Keep Assist & Traffic Jam Pilot (usually £595 option)
  • Electronic Parking Brake
  • Metallic Blue Front Splitter
  • Revised e+ suspension set-up

It seems as though the “free” OVO vehicle-to-grid wallbox comes as part of Nissan’s finance campaign, available until 31st March 2020 as part of Nissan’s Red Tag Event.

I have endeavoured to contact both Nissan UK and OVO for comment, but they have yet to get back to me.

P.S. Nissan UK have been in touch. They assure me that the 62 kWh LEAF N-TEC is already in production, and if the 1000 special edition vehicles haven’t all been sold by March 31st a new finance offer will be made available. Based on that conversation it sounds as though the “free” V2G wallbox is available as part of OVO Energy’s continuing V2G trial, and is not dependent on Nissan’s finance. Full details can be seen at:

Our V2G Charger stores electricity in your Nissan electric vehicle battery when it’s cheaper and more likely to have been produced by renewable sources, then sells energy back to the grid when it’s in demand.

Sign up to OVO Energy, join the trial and you’ll get a groundbreaking charger for free. You will also get a £75 credit on your OVO Energy bill and a payment of up to 30p per kWh of energy exported back to the grid.

Watch this space for more news as and when we receive it.

UPS Order 10,000 Arrival EVans – With V2G?

In a press release earlier this week UPS announced that:

UPS today said its venture capital arm, UPS Ventures, has completed a minority investment in Arrival, which makes electric vehicle (EV) platforms and purpose-built vehicles that offer a highly competitive value proposition when compared with both traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, as well as existing EVs. Along with the investment in Arrival, UPS also announced a commitment to purchase 10,000 electric vehicles to be built for UPS with priority access to purchase additional electric vehicles.

Arrival have also released this video:

UPS invests in Arrival and orders Generation 2 Electric Vehicles from Arrival on Vimeo.

One thing that other news reports seem to have missed is that Arrival are members of the Innovate UK Vehicle to Grid Oxford consortium (V2GO for short):

Arrival is a technology company fuelled by the ambition to make EVs the new normal. Driven by a team curated from the world’s most renowned technology and automotive brands, Arrival have taken a blank canvas and turned it into something extraordinary. Designed from the ground up, Arrival has created electric vehicles as they should be – simple, smart, modular. One skateboard platform, easily scaled, easily manufactured, easily turned into multiple vehicle types. This completely unique approach is what will pave the way to delivering premium, autonomous ready, electric vehicles on mass without a premium price tag.

Arrival will be developing the vehicle-to-grid enabled light commercial vehicle for project V2GO. This will be used for the real life assessment of V2G.

Here’s Katherine Collett from the University of Oxford explaining the benefits of combining vehicle-to-grid technology with a fleet of electric delivery vans:

Hence one cannot help but wonder whether any of the thousands of Arrival vans that UPS have just ordered will be equipped with V2G capabilities? If so we have just the thing for charging and discharging them in our car park:


Perhaps UPS would like to order a few for research purposes?

Masdar invests in UK’s Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund

In a press release yesterday Masdar announced that:

Masdar, one of the world’s leading sustainability investors and renewable energy developers, has today joined UK government leaders in London for a specialised industry event to discuss its recent investment in the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund (CIIF).

Hosted by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall, participants included Simon Clarke, Exchequer Secretary to HM Treasury, Khaled Al Qubaisi, CEO of Aerospace, Renewables & ICT for Mubadala, HE Mansoor Abulhool, UAE Ambassador to the UK, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy CEO of IPA, and Samer Salty, Managing Partner of Zouk Capital.

Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company, last month became the first commercial investor in the UK government’s £400 million CIIF, which aims to more than double the country’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure with 3,000 new rapid charge points by 2024 as part of its ambition to end the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

To be managed by Zouk Capital, Masdar has invested £35 million in the fund, which has been matched by the UK government.


HM Government also published a transcript of the speech made by Simon Clarke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office yesterday:

In November of last year, I was one of 50 Tory MPs who wrote to the Prime Minister and urged her to set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

We felt then as we do now – that that we could decarbonise through science, not economic sacrifice…

…That our method would not be hair-shirted self-denial, but innovation and investment driven by the right incentives.

Our past should give us confidence.

This country’s ingenuity has kept the UK at the forefront of science and engineering for hundreds of years.

And, provided we keep our ambitions high, we will lead the world for hundreds more.

And the goal of net zero emissions will inspire us all to great heights of achievement.

Entrepreneurs will see opportunities in new industries, and create jobs all around the UK.

And the new technologies they create will clean the air we breathe, and cut the bills in our homes.

In June this year, the government became the first major economy in the world to adopt the Net Zero 2050 target, which is fantastic news.

I was made a minister a month later and – while this is possibly slightly less momentous – I can assure you all I will do everything I can to make sure the government keeps its promise.

By way of Her Majesty’s Government keeping its Net Zero promises, Mr. Clarke went on to say that:

The Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund is in many ways emblematic of our approach to Net Zero.

Our philosophy isn’t that government can solve everything.

Of course, we have an important role to play – but we have to do it in partnership with the energy and expertise of the private sector.

Our approach is therefore to set up the right incentives and conditions, and then allow a powerful green market to flourish.

In this case, we wanted to encourage more people to buy and use electric vehicles, or EVs, which are far less polluting than traditional cars.

We set up grants for cars, taxis, vans and motorcycles.

But we realised that people looking at buying EVs were wary of getting marooned, without any battery in their car left and miles away from home or the nearest charging point.

And handouts wouldn’t cut it – we needed to unleash the power of the market.

So, with Zouk Capital, we set up the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund as a catalyst, with government money matching any private capital that comes in to maximise impact.

And we were delighted that Masdar chose to invest £35 million in the fund – which the government topped up to £70 million – for the installation of 3,000 rapid chargers across the country.

This more than doubles the UK’s number of rapid chargers, producing a dense network of stopping points where family cars can be charged in 20 minutes flat – the time it takes for a sandwich and a coffee on the way to the seaside.

And, further, it shows Masdar’s continued participation in the UK’s clean energy commitments.

Masdar has invested more than £3 billion in the UK in the past ten years, predominantly in offshore wind.

It’s a pleasure to welcome Mohamed Al Ramahi here today for the signing ceremony and to talk more about how we can work together.

Here’s hoping that Zouk Capital, HM Government and/or Masdar also decide to invest in vehicle-to-grid capable “destination” charging points in the not too distant future. If the UK is aiming for “Net Zero” carbon emissions in the foreseeable future one way or another UK plc needs to back up offshore wind and other renewable energy generation with some form of storage of that energy for those times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Electric vehicle battery packs can provide a very cost effective way of achieving that end, assuming that the appropriate infrastructure is already in place.

A problem we are already working hard on solving down here in the Wild and Windy West Country!

The Labour Party Likes V2G!

The United Kingdom’s Labour Party has issued two related press releases recently. According to the first one from September 21st:

Speaking on the Today programme, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced that Labour will introduce 2.5 million interest free loans for the purchase of electric cars.

The loans of up to £33,000 will allow low to income households, those living in rural areas and independent contractors and SMEs middle to save on new electric cars. The government will cover the £1,500 cost of interest on a loan, with individuals saving up to £5,000 over time.

The scheme will ensure that access to the Electric Car Revolution is broadened beyond elites, as part of Labour’s vision of clean transport for everyone.

The interest-free loans will require participation in a mass trial of Vehicle-2-Grid technology which will allow the UK to transition to renewable energy.

This new technology will allow electric cars to store excess energy from the national grid, smoothing energy supply from renewable sources.

The scheme will boost the British automobile industry and support the UK’s transition away from petrol and diesel cars.

Then two days later the second one announced that:

In order to jumpstart the transition to electric cars and tackle the climate emergency Labour will invest £3.6 billion into a mammoth expansion of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) charging networks.

Labour’s rapid roll out of charging stations will eliminate concerns over driving range and lack of electric car charging infrastructure by providing enough electric charge points for 21.5 million electric cars – 65% of the UK’s fleet – by 2030. This would double the number of electric cars that the Conservatives are planning for by 2030.

The networks will be made up of ‘en-route’ Ultra-Fast charge stations along motorways, and a mixture of ‘about town’ Rapid and Ultra-Fast charge stations in more urban environments.

Electricity will be generated from renewable sources and distributed by Labour’s publicly owned grid and newly created National and Regional Energy Agencies. These bodies will also oversee the roll out of the EV charging networks and create up to 3,000 new jobs for electricians and network engineers.

These plans will create the infrastructure necessary to transition the UK away from fossil fuel driven cars to low-carbon electric cars – tackling climate change and boosting the UK’s automobile industry.

On the expansion of the UK’s EV charging networks charging Shadow Secretary for BEIS, Rebecca Long Bailey said:

“The Tories have sat on their hands as air pollution poisons our children and the climate emergency intensifies. Their inaction on electric charging infrastructure has held back the transition to cleaner vehicles and put our industry behind the curve.

“Labour is ready to jumpstart an Electric Car Revolution. We will roll out electric vehicle charging infrastructure to every city, town and village, and along our motorways.

“Under Labour, nobody buying an electric car needs to worry about running out of fuel.”

All of which is of course sweet music to our ears. Now all we need is for the Labour Party to win the forthcoming election! Failing that presumably a coalition with the Lib Dems and/or the Green Party would also approve of similar plans? Here’s our local Lib Dem candidate, Danny Chambers, inspecting the AC V2G charging post currently installed in our North Cornwall car park:


I wonder who the local Labour candidate is?

Triodos’ New Car Park with Solar Powered AC V2G

Today we are finally able to bring you exciting news of a large vehicle-to-grid installation in the Netherlands, with some unusual twists apart from the sheer number of charging stations.

In a thankfully English language article in PlaceTech it was reported earlier this week that:

Edge has delivered an office building for Triodos Bank in the Netherlands engineered to be sustainable inside and out with the latest circular construction principles designed throughout. The 135,000 sq ft office in Driebergen-Zeist, Netherlands was built with the intention to harmonise with the surrounding fauna and flora, on a construction level and beyond.


Please bear in mind that the article is referring to EDGE Technologies which is part of Dutch developer OVG Real Estate, and not the U2 guitarist!

After further description of the office building itself the article eventually gets to the part of the project of most interest to us. The solar PV covered car park:

The extensive use of renewable energy, reflected in over 3,000 m² of solar panels, as well as heat and cold storage, contributes to the energy neutrality of the building. The project encompasses ‘smart charging’ electric cars from solar energy and ‘Vehicle2grid’ technology. Vehicle2grid means that the cars cannot only be charged with solar energy but also discharged, which is called bi-directional charging. The cars become an active part of a ‘smart net’, which includes such benefits as being able to store solar energy.

Drone triodos

The PlaceTech article doesn’t go into any more detail than that but we certainly intend to, not least because the aerial view of the solar PV canopy reveals a number of electric vehicle charging stations that look identical to the one we have installed in our “wall to wall” V2G “living lab”:


Taking a look at the new Triodos car park from ground level it becomes apparent that a large array of AC V2G capable charging stations are currently being installed, both under and around the solar PV canopy:

To find out more about what’s going on we’ve had to resort to Google Translate. According to a Dutch language article on the Triodos Bank web site from earlier this year:

The largest bidirectional charging plaza in the world is under construction at the new office building of Triodos Bank next to Driebergen-Zeist station. From this Autumn, 120 smart chargers will be able to store solar energy in the batteries of shared electric cars.

Triodos Bank have realised the project in close collaboration with developer EDGE Technologies and We Drive Solar. The bidirectional chargers are directly connected to 3,253 m² of solar panels and have a triple function. Electric cars can charge here. Cars whose battery is full enough can also supply power, so that the energy can be used in the office building or be fed back into the electricity grid.

Part of the plan is that Triodos Bank will replace its pool cars with 100% electric cars, so that they become part of the bidirectional charging ecosystem. Triodos Bank will investigate how, in addition to Triodos Bank employees, the residents of Zeist and the surrounding area can also use its shared electric cars. According to Triodos Bank director Matthijs Bierman “The plan fits in with our new ambitions in the field of sustainable mobility. We want to make car sharing as sustainable and attractive as possible. Not only for our employees, but also for the local community.”

Now 120 AC V2G charging stations sounds amazing, but where are 120 or more AC V2G capable electric cars going to come from? I can help answer that question, since I attended the launch of the We Drive Solar bi-directional ecosystem in Utrecht earlier this year. According to Renault:

A fleet of fifteen Zoe vehicles with vehicle-to-grid charging will be introduced in Europe over the course of 2019 to develop our future offerings in reversible charging and lay the groundwork for the future standards —with our partners’ help. These pilot schemes will begin today in Utrecht (the Netherlands) in an ecosystem developed by We Drive Solar and on Porto Santo Island (in the archipelago of Madeira, Portugal) with Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira, an energy supplier. Following these, more pilot schemes will be introduced in France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.


So that explains 15 prototype AC V2G capable Renault ZOE’s across Europe in 2019, but that’s a lot less than 120 in the Triodos car park! As far as I am aware Renault have not announced when V2G enabled ZOEs will go into production, but when ultimately they do Triodos Bank will be ready! In the meantime I’m sure that plenty of “smart charging” will be going on in Driebergen-Zeist and across the Netherlands

All in all the project sounds a lot like a combination of our “Camelford Electric Car Club” and “Static and Mobile Distributed Energy Storage” projects, albeit on a much grander scale! That probably explains this remark by Robin Berg of We Drive Solar to Bobby Llewellyn at the recent Fully Charged LIVE event at Silverstone in the summer?

If you want to discover more about the We Drive Solar bi-directional ecosystem then please feel free to attend this webinar on September 23rd at 13:00 British Summer Time:


Terna and Fiat Chrysler Announce 700 Vehicle V2G Project

Italian utility Terna announced in a press release yesterday that:

Today in Turin, the CEO and General Manager of Terna, Luigi Ferraris, and the Chief Operating Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in EMEA, Pietro Gorlier, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint trialling of sustainability mobility services and technologies, such as Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), which enables electric vehicles to interact with the grid via ‘smart’ charging infrastructure.

The partnership between the companies will involve the realisation at the Terna location in Turin of the E-mobility Lab, an innovative technology laboratory which will allow trials on the performances and capacities of electric cars for the provision of services to support the flexibility and stabilisation of the electricity grid, and their one-way and two-way interaction with the grid via a dedicated charging infrastructure. Feasibility studies will also be launched for an experimental demonstration fleet of electric cars connected to the grid via a V2G infrastructure, to be built in an area inside the FCA Mirafiori industrial complex.

According to a Reuters report Pietro Gorlier said:

“We’ll start with the electric Cinquecento. The project will kick off in the coming months, we plan to reach 600-700 test vehicles by 2020-21”.

FCA will start producing a full electric version of its Cinquecento mini car in Mirafiori by the second quarter of next year.

Nissan and EDF collaborate on UK V2G

In a press release earlier today Nissan announced that:

Nissan and EDF Group have signed a cooperation agreement to accelerate the delivery of electric mobility together – particularly through the smart charging of electric vehicles. This agreement applies to the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Italy.

The cooperation agreement focuses mainly on developing smart charging solutions (vehicle to grid, or V2G) by bringing together technologies developed and mastered by both companies. Smart charging refers to technologies that optimise the charging or discharging of an electric vehicle in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

As part of the cooperation agreement, Nissan is responsible for the sale of V2G compatible electric vehicles, and EDF Group in charge of V2G charging solutions and related services.

If EDF have “developed and mastered… V2G charging solutions” I cannot help but think they must be buying in the necessary hardware technology from elsewhere rather than having developed and mastered it themselves. However the news release is rather vague about that side of things! It continues:

Fundamental to Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility vision is the integration of electric vehicles into society, with V2G technology offering significant benefits to electricity grids and providing new financial opportunities to businesses. As increasing numbers of drivers and businesses make the switch to 100% electric vehicles, Nissan achieved record sales for both the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 van in Europe last year.

EDF Group is committed to promote clean mobility for everyone, in particular by developping “smart charging” solutions with tangible benefits to customers. These fully integrated solutions include the management of the battery’s charge and discharge as well as flexibility services to the grid available through storage. They are carried by Izivia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the EDF Group specialising in charging infrastructure, and Dreev, the newly launched EDF-NUVVE joint venture, specialising in V2G commercial solutions.

Perhaps EDF’s V2G hardware arrives via Dreev then. However Nuvve have told me numerous times that they are “not in the hardware business”. Who is then?!

The coda to the interesting bit of the release states:

Today’s agreement follows a previous partnership in the UK between EDF Energy and Nissan. Signed last year, the two organisations agreed to collaborate around the development of shared offerings in the areas of electric mobility, smart charging, second-life battery use, energy storage and renewable energy sources.

That doesn’t reveal what Dreev are up to either, so let’s dig a little deeper shall we? According to the Dreev web site:

Dreev solution relies on Nuvve technology that has already been deployed and validated on 5 continents.

followed by:

Nuvve Corporation is a San Diego-based green energy technology company, world leader in V2G technology, whose mission is to lower the cost of electric vehicle ownership while supporting the integration of renewable energy sources, including solar and wind.

which links to the Nuvve web site which tells us:

As part of our complete vehicle-to-grid (V2G) solution, we offer bidirectional chargers which are preconfigured to work with NUVVE’s Grid Integrated Platform (GIVe™).

Nissan’s press release included a picture of a shiny red right hand drive 2019 model year Nissan LEAF e+:

Nissan LEAF e plus-small

A packet of peanuts will be our astonishingly generous reward for anybody able to send us a verifiable image of the Nuvve/Dreev “developed and mastered” DC V2G hardware technology. Note that the image on the Nuvve “V2G Chargers” page shows hardware technology developed by a 3rd (or should that be 4th) party.

Tesla Files SaMDES Patent Application

Regular readers with long memories may recall that way back when in November 2017 we here at V2G UK announced the launch of our Static and Mobile Distributed Energy Storage project? Those readers can no doubt imagine my surprise when I recently discovered an article by Sebastian Blanco in Forbes magazine announcing that:

There’s the grid, the evolving smart grid and then there’s no grid at all. That’s the paradigm that Tesla is exploring in a new patent application, Number 16/186390, which calls for controlling energy generation interactions (solar roofs, anyone? ) that bypass the electric grid.

Here’s the monochrome graphic that Sebastian extracted from Tesla’s patent application:

SebastianBlanco_Tesla _Patent_Screen-Shot-2019-03-29

To my way of thinking that’s remarkably similar to the left and central portions of the much more colourful “prior art” in the banner that’s been proudly displayed at the top of every page on this web site for many years now. Do you suppose that Elon Musk is an avid reader of the V2G UK web site? If so perhaps he first arrived here way back in 2014 when I took Tesla’s marketing mavens to task over their propensity to be “economical with the truth” concerning open source electric vehicles.

Tesla’s recent US patent application includes the following paragraph:

This application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/153,037 entitled “ENERGY GENERATION INTERACTIONS BYPASSING THE GRID,” filed on May 12, 2016, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

That seems to refer to this 2018 patent assigned to “SolarCity Corporation, San Mateo, CA”. Does the US patent office by any chance have a number to call to advise them of occurrences of “patenting the bleedin’ obvious”?

Exhibit 1:

Octopus and Ohme Announce a Smart Cable

This is a piece of electric vehicle smart charging (V1G for short) news rather than directly related to vehicle-to-grid technology. It is extremely interesting nonetheless. In a press release this morning it was announced that:

Octopus Energy and Ohme are today announcing a partnership to offer Octopus Energy customers the chance to have smart charging at home – enabling them to charge any electric car when Octopus’s green electricity is cheapest.

By integrating with Agile Octopus, the UK’s only smart time-of-use tariff, the Ohme cable and app brings smart charging to any home.

Here’s the image of Ohme’s new “smart cable” that accompanied the press release:


The press release continues:

Once the cable is connected, the driver can just open up the app and enter the amount they would like to charge their car and by when, and then let Ohme manage it for them. For example: “On weekdays, charge my car battery to 100% by 7am”. Ohme then uses the Octopus Agile API to automatically deliver the right amount of electricity when it is cheapest.

By optimising their charging in this smart way, Octopus Energy and Ohme estimate that customers using Ohme in parallel with the Agile Octopus tariff could save around £300 per year on their charging costs in comparison to charging on a typical industry standard variable tariff.

The cable will cost £399, but the first 1,000 Octopus Energy customers get a special launch price of £199.

The Ohme cable is available for pre-order on the Octopus Energy web site. Whilst we wait for them to start shipping the new product, here’s an image of the Ohme app in action:


According to Ohme’s CEO, David Watson:

At Ohme we believe the future of transport is electric and that flexible home charging is the key to mass adoption. Ohme’s innovative smart charging cable is the first App-controlled, intelligent EV charger, that combined with Octopus’ smart energy tariffs, delivers real savings and environmental benefits. All you need to do is plug in and let Ohme do the rest.

I cannot help but think that the likes of Wallbox might well quibble with David’s “first app-controlled, intelligent EV charger” remark? The press release didn’t include a telephone number, but we’ll let you know Ohme’s thoughts on the matter when we manage to get hold of them.


[Edit – March 30th]

After desperately doing my due diligence I eventually managed to have a long chat with Ohme’s technical guru, Dan Hollingworth, yesterday evening. As I strongly suspected, the Ohme “smart cable” isn’t actually that smart, by V2G UK’s standards at least. It contains a microprocessor and a 4G modem, not unlike our sister company V2G EVSE’s “smart controller” except that it doesn’t optionally do WiFi, Bluetooth, 2.5 G, 3G, LTE-M and NB-IoT as well.

Ohme’s device doesn’t determine the electric vehicle (EV for short) battery pack’s state of charge by communicating with the EV through the cable. Instead it finds out that useful piece of information by using its 4G modem to communicate with assorted EV original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM for short) cloud platforms, which in turn communicate wirelessly with the EV the Ohme’s cable is plugged into using proprietary protocols.

Ohme’s cloud platform is somewhat smarter since it communicates with National Grid’s Application Programming Interface (API for short) to forecast the “carbon intensity” of the UK Grid and thus determine the “greenness” of the electricity used to charge the EV to which the “smart cable” is attached. Here’s the current output of our open source example of how to go about doing that, generated by the V2G EVSE smart controller:

Screenshot from 2019-03-30 10-05-54

Ohme’s cloud platform also determines the price of electricity on Octopus Energy’s Agile or Go tariffs by communicating with the Octopus Energy API

Ohme’s smartphone application (app for short) allows the EV’s owner to instruct Ohme’s cloud based platform how much charge they’d like in their EV battery pack by when. On the basis of all the information Ohme’s cloud based platform has acquired it then uses version 1.6 of the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP for short) to instruct the cable when and how fast to charge the EV it’s connected to. In case it’s of interest here’s our open source smart charging station simulator, based on a mildly modified clone of Thomas Volden’s OCPP 1.6 library over on GitHub:

Does that all make perfect sense now?

Renault Starts V2G Charging Pilot Project in Utrecht

In a press release earlier today Renault announced:

Groupe Renault, the European leader in electric vehicles, is beginning the first large-scale pilot schemes in reversible electric charging. Our alternating-current technology has the particularity of placing the reversible charger inside vehicles, so it just requires a simple, inexpensive adaptation of the existing charging terminals.

A fleet of fifteen Zoe vehicles with vehicle-to-grid charging will be introduced in Europe over the course of 2019 to develop our future offerings in reversible charging and lay the groundwork for the future standards —with our partners’ help. These pilot schemes will begin today in Utrecht (the Netherlands) in an ecosystem developed by We Drive Solar and on Porto Santo Island (in the archipelago of Madeira, Portugal) with Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira, an energy supplier. Following these, more pilot schemes will be introduced in France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

It looks like we’ll have to (metaphorically of course) twist someone’s arm at Renault to let us try one or more of their modified Zoes with AC V2G capability! I was at the launch in Utrecht today and spoke to a variety of representatives from Renault Netherlands and Renault France, who by and large seemed amenable to the idea of a suitably funded UK pilot project. Renault’s press release was of course accompanied by a variety of images. However I took lots of pictures of my own, and a fair few videos too. Here’s the three Zoes that were lined up in Utrecht today:


and here’s King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands driving away in one of them, accompanied by Robin Berg of We Drive Solar:


Here too is a video recording of some of the excellent entertainment at the event, provided by the Hillsback Brassband:

Invigorated by the brilliant brass section here’s one of the press release infographics that I couldn’t snap for myself. Renault’s visualisation of vehicle-to-grid technology in action:

2019 - Recharge bidirectionnelle

2019 – Recharge bidirectionnelle

Charging during the day on the left. Discharging during the night on the right. Much like our very own V2G UK banner above! Renault’s press release continues:

Vehicle-to-grid charging — also called reversible charging — modulates the charging and discharging of electric-vehicle batteries in accordance with users’ needs and the grid’s supply of available electricity. Charging reaches its maximum level when the electricity supply exceeds demand, notably during peaks in production of renewable energy. But vehicles are also capable of injecting electricity into the grid during peaks in consumption. Electric vehicles can therefore serve units of temporary energy storage and become key drivers in the development of renewable energy. In this way, the electricity grid optimizes the supply of local renewable energy and reduces infrastructure costs. At the same time, customers enjoy greener, more economical consumption of electricity and are financially rewarded for serving the electricity grid.

Reversible charging will be piloted in several projects (electric ecosystems or mobility services) through seven countries and alongside various partners to lay the groundwork for Groupe Renault’s future offering. The aim is twofold: to measure large-scale feasibility and potential gains. In particular, these pilot schemes will help us:

  • Underline the technical and economic advantages of an onboard solution in electric vehicles
  • Demonstrate—in concrete terms—the value of services provided for the local and national electricity grid, such as encouraging consumption of solar and wind energy, checking the grid’s frequency or tension, and reducing infrastructure costs
  • Work on the regulatory frameworks of a mobile energy-storage scheme, detecting any pitfalls in it and offering concrete solutions
  • Establish common standards, the basic requirement for an industrial-scale roll-out.

I now have a few more videos of the event to go away and edit, but whilst those are being prepared here’s one that Renault provided earlier, illustrating both “Smart charging” and “Bidirectional smart charging”: