Renault Germany entered into a partnership with a company specialized in electric transport solutions to test a system that would reduce the charging time for electric cars.
Electric cars’ charging times are the main drawback of such vehicles. You have to be really patient when you plug in your car, and when you are in a hurry, such patient does not last for long. Electric car owners appreciate reduced charging times for their vehicles, and even more so reduced charging cost. To test such a system, Renault Germany teamed up with The Mobility House (based in Zurich and Munich), which specializes in electric transport solutions such as smart charge terminals and energy storage systems. The Mobility House (TMH) has developed a technology that substantially reduces the charging cost for the customer, as well as shortening the charge time by an hour. Eleven ZOE owners, working at Renault in Germany, were selected to test the system developed by TMH under real-life conditions.
Once plugged into a special charge station at the ZOE owner’s home, the car communicates its electricity needs via a Renault Global Data Center to TMH, which schedules vehicle charging on the basis of energy cost data. Electricity from the grid costs more during high demand periods and less when demand is low, so the system detects consumption peaks and stops charging until the cost falls. Fast charging then proceeds, at lower cost, until the car batteries are fully charged.
This technology enables electric car owners to optimize their electricity expenses without the trouble of having to calculate peak and trough demand periods themselves. It marks the first stage in forthcoming development of “smart grids”. Renault and TMH are also working together on other solutions for reducing charging costs, and offering electric vehicle owners ways to earn money by generating electricity to be fed into the grid.