Volvo revives the dream of the allied car with renewable energy

Volvo will make its next EX90 ready for two-way charging. A big promise of the electric car to help solve the irregularity of renewable energy. However, there are still many obstacles.

The electric car, which has made a strong comeback in the car market after about a century’s absence, is accompanied by another big promise. With a large fleet of cars, all equipped with batteries, electric vehicles would become a serious adjusting variable for the electrical network in your house or even globally.

But as is often the case with automotive technologies, you have to hit the brakes. That Two-way charging is actually taking time to arrive in electric vehicles marketed today.

“There is a very large potential, and we are actively in favor of a change in the legislation.”

Olivier Loedel

Volvo cars

Volvo takes the leap with its electric SUV, which will be revealed in early November, the EX90 produced in Sweden. It will be the brand’s first vehicle equipped for two-way charging. Understand that the vehicle will have all the necessary equipment.

“There is a very large potential and we are actively in favor of legislative changes”, insists Olivier Loedel, head of the electrification ecosystem at Volvo Cars.

He sees for the customers a many possible uses, such as recharging an electric bike, using a stove at the campsite or supplying a household with energy during rush hour. (see opposite)

Many brakes

It looks to use the batteries of electric vehicles to better understand the irregularity of the production of renewable energy the most promising business.

“When you have 1.5 million electric cars in circulation in Belgium, it starts to make a huge battery.”

Nicholas Paris

CEO of Electric by D’Ieteren

“The electric car park is still quite small, but when you have 1.5 million electric cars on the road in Belgium, it starts to make a huge battery”, emphasizes Nicolas Paris, CEO of Electric by D’Ieteren (EDI).

He has been active for years in electric cars and confirms that the subject of two-way charging “fuels a lot of passions and speculations”.

The problem, as we are also told at Volvo, is that the entire chain must be able to absorb this two-way load. The obstacles are therefore still numerous. The car must be equipped, but the terminal must also allow this two-way charging. You also need an intelligent software system to manage everything, whether it’s running your home or the network.

Need for standards

“In my opinion, with 50% of their electricity production being renewable and therefore intermittent, the Germans will quickly agree on standards.”

It’s also a matter of agreeing on standards with communication protocols, Paris explains. But despite all the obstacles, “there is too much value in this battery and to the network for nothing to happen“, analyzes Paris.

“In my opinion, with 50% of their electricity generation being renewable and therefore intermittent, the Germans will quickly agree on standards that they will then push to Europe”, analyzes EDI’s CEO.

The Japanese charging standard Chademo (as opposed to the European CCS) is i loss of speed. Still, it was the most advanced in terms of two-way charging, but the fact that Nissan has opted for CCS for its latest EVs (Leaf and Ariya) suggests that Chademo is going to lose the battle.

We remember that Mitsubishi and its importer Beherman wanted to launch their two-way solution in Belgium, an ambition that never saw the light of day.

At Volvo, it is explained that this type of two-way solution “will begin toonly be available in certain markets initially“. “In Sweden, hourly contracts are possible for energy. The ‘vehicle for the network’ could save 500 euros per customer per year”, Olivier Loedel estimates.

The latter indicates that “according to our data”, two-way charging “should not have a significant impact on the life of car batteries”. Instead of using the high-performance battery in its car to power its house or the network, Tesla, for example, prefers to use cheaper stationary batteries in between.

At the Belgian level, if the dossier is followed closely enough, we expect above all that Europe will position itself. But “everyone knows that this is something important. Even if it can work technically, there is a regulatory aspect that should not be overlooked,” Nicolas Paris elaborates further.

For example, we feel the dawn dear headache if you charge at the office and then use power for your home. But despite all the brakes, we at Volvo believe it.

“If most cars had this feature in the future, the network would be balanced more often.”

Two-way charging could “allow customers to support the grid in a number of different ways – including storing more energy during periods of excess renewable energy or reselling energy during consumption peaks when demand increases. is stronger”, we detail at Volvo.

“If most cars had this feature in the future, the network would more often be in equilibrium. This can increase its overall sustainability by reducing the possible waste of energy from renewable sources”, points out the Swedish manufacturer, a subsidiary of Chinese Geely.

The different types of two-way loads

Two way charging is a kind of holy grail between the world of energy and the car. But it exists more apps technology with more or less advanced user-friendliness.

From vehicle to vehicle

In a world where the stress of autonomy or recharging remains a serious reality, two-way charging could be realized directly between equipped cars. Volvo is considering, for example, to let part of its load be transferred to another Volvo.

From the car to your home

Your vehicle’s battery can be used to run your home. This can be useful when your renewable energy production is low, during peak hours if hourly pricing is required or simply in the event of a power outage.

However, for this to be possible, your car and your charging station must be equipped. You also need a “home management system”, software, to manage all of this.

that brake is also tariff at this stage. According to Nicolas Paris, CEO of EDI, is only terminals that allow two-way available at the moment are 5,000 euros without installation, i.e. 5 times the price.

From vehicle to network

Here, too, your vehicle and the charging stations must be adapted. But leaving your car as an adjusting variable for the power grid is certain the most interesting two-way charging function to save money.

Because this must allow better manage the irregularity in the production of renewable energy. The energy companies must of course play the game with intelligent pricing, and the offer must be flexible for car owners according to their needs.

charging of electrical appliances

This is the simplest app two-way charging. She is from another place already available in a range of hybrid electric vehicles or even thermals. Internal sockets in the cabin allow you to recharge a variety of electronic devices on the go, directly from the energy of your vehicles.

What you make a cup of coffee on the side of the road, feed a camping stove or load a bicycle, for example.

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