Cutting-edge grid innovation is coming to a small Portuguese island in the Atlantic.
French carmaker Groupe Renault said last month that it would collaborate with island authorities and grid operator Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira (EEM) on a project called Sustainable Porto Santo/Smart Fossil Free Island, which will include vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. The project grapples with the challenges of increasing variable renewables on a small island grid.
In the first phase, costing €9 million ($11 million), the island will install 40 charging points for 14 Renault Zoe electric cars and six Kangoo electric vans.
At the end of this year, these vehicles will start acting in V2G mode to help the grid cope with demand peaks.
Finally, Renault will install energy storage, based on second-life EV batteries, so the renewable energy capacity on the island can be increased without curtailment.
The carmaker is working with a U.K. company called Powervault on its second-life battery technology, although “at this stage the [Porto Santo] project with Renault has not been discussed,” said Powervault’s business development associate Tom Ross.
French vehicle manufacturer Renault has opened its first European store dedicated to electric vehicles (EVs) as the company aims to build its reputation for the technology.
The new centre in Stockholm will allow visitors to discover the benefits of electric mobility and find answers to their questions on the subject. Renault is one of the leaders in EV technology with its Zoe model, with the company looking to introduce electric powertrains on more models.
The store will be located in Täby Centrum, one of Sweden’s largest shopping centres, on the outskirts of the country’s capital, and a prime spot to promote the advantages of electric motoring as a means to address the issue of urban mobility.
‘We are delighted to be opening this store which will enable us to engage with people about electric mobility, help them to learn more about the subject and give them a chance to share their ideas. As Europe’s number one EV brand, we will be able to use this concept store to interact with the public and help people to understand the opportunities and benefits of electric motoring,’
said Gilles Normand, Groupe Renault senior vice president, electric vehicles.
As we transition away from polluting fossil-fuelled vehicles to electric vehicles it is common for owners to think about the source of the electricity they use for charging. Here I’d like to touch on the options for charging with renewable electricity, and introduce the idea of charging at night using spare solar electricity.
A rule of thumb is that moving from a fossil-fuelled vehicle to an electric vehicle (EV) roughly halves the pollution and carbon footprint if that vehicle is powered from the grid. It is natural, therefore, for an EV owner to look to renewable energy to reduce their footprint further.
Until recently electric vehicle (EV) owners had two main options for charging their vehicle from renewable electricity.
Option 1: Renewable Electricity Supply
The simplest option for renewable EV charging is to switch your entire home electricity supply over to a renewable supply. This is very easy and takes little effort. There are often lots of options for renewable supply companies (in the UK historically it tended to be Ecotricity and Good Energy but now there are many others).
It used to be that such supplies often had a price premium over more polluting (i.e. coal-based) tariffs but that’s become less true over time. When I switched I hadn’t previously switched for some time so going renewable actually saved me money over staying on my previous coal-based tariff.
The Renault ZOE has reaffirmed its ever-increasing popularity with business users after being named the ‘Best Ultra-Low Emission Car’ for the second consecutive year at the Fleet World Honours 2018.
Hosted by Fleet World magazine, the annual awards, held today at the Royal Automobile Club in London, recognise vehicles, individuals and service providers that demonstrate excellence in the fleet sector in terms of innovation, quality and sustainability.
The all-electric Renault ZOE took home the highly-coveted award after impressing Fleet World magazine’s industry experts with its ‘real world’ range, style and competitive pricing. The win underlines its status as an unrivalled choice for business users who require an exceptionally efficient compact vehicle that is incredibly easy to live with.
On the judges’ decision, Alex Grant, Editor, Fleet World, said:
“ULEVs have come a long way since the ZOE launched in 2013, but so has Renault’s chic electric supermini. The larger-capacity battery only widens its appeal, offering a real-world range of almost 200 miles in a segment that’s perfectly suited to electrification, with quick charging for longer trips. It’s a well-rounded, good-value reason to make the switch to electric power.”
The Renault ZOE was arguably the first modern electric car ‘for the people’ and now makes an intriguing secondhand option
It’s easy to forget that electric cars have been with us for over a century – in fact they were around before petrol engines came about. Only recently, though, have they started to become truly viable for daily use – and that’s if you can afford the expensive technology that forces electric car prices beyond their fossil-fuel alternatives.
The Renault ZOE, though, was among the first electric cars with price tag that made it a true electric alternative to the petrol and diesel supermini norm, and with plenty of choice on the secondhand market, moving to electric power has never been more affordable.
The ZOE is a pleasant car to drive, particularly on urban roads where the instant urge of its electric motor puts you at an advantage over conventionally powered traffic. It’s very quiet, the seats are comfortable and the ride is generally smooth. Some of the interior trim feels a little insubstantial, but the interior is quite attractive. It’s spacious, too, with loads of front and rear headroom, and the boot can swallow 338 litres of luggage – or 1,225 if you lower the rear seatbacks.
The ZOE has done rather well in our annual Driver Power survey, too, which demonstrates that owners have few regrets in their choice, while its excellent Euro NCAP crash-test scores are sure to reassure families. Of course, the ZOE makes even more sense if you can find the right example for your needs; so here’s our in-depth guide to what to look for.