Utrecht is to be the Worlds First City to Use Shared Cars as Large-Scale Neighborhood Batteries
UTRECHT, Netherlands, Sept. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Utrecht is taking the next step in the transition to renewable energy as a result of the partnership between We Drive Solar and MyWheels. The We Drive Solar technology to charge as well as discharge cars bidirectionally will become available to MyWheels' large fleet of shared cars. This means that Utrecht residents will be the first in the world to experience on a large scale what a 'neighborhood battery on wheels' can do.
More than 300 shared cars in Utrecht to be charged using We Drive Solar
By the end of 2023, 300 MyWheels station-based electric shared cars in Utrecht will be connected to We Drive Solar's charging stations. Including 25 bidirectional Hyundai IONIQ5. It is the companies' ambition to work together to scale that number up substantially in the coming years, including beyond Utrecht. A large number of cars will be bidirectionally controlled, meaning that the car can both charge and discharge and could therefore act as an energy storage facility for the neighborhood. Robin Berg, founder and CEO of We Drive Solar, says: "We are very pleased to partner with MyWheels and The Sharing Group to further accelerate the roll-out of bidirectional charging and demonstrate how it works on a large scale".
The neighborhood battery on wheels is getting closer
The MyWheels electric sharing cars will become part of the We Drive Solar energy system. The available solar and wind energy is used to charge the shared cars and can be fed back at times when there is a higher demand for sustainable electricity. Shared cars as neighborhood batteries on wheels can play an important role in countering grid congestion and thereby accelerating the energy transition.
Mobility and energy come together in the energy system of the future
The Sharing Group, which includes MyWheels and the energy platform EnergyZero, is investing in a strategy where mobility and energy come together at a neighborhood level, in a local, sustainable and fairer energy system also called a virtual power plant. Henri de Jong, CEO The Sharing Group, says: "We are building The People's Powerplant - an energy system in which we store the energy we generate ourselves and share it with our locality or neighbors. This is how we accelerate the energy transition and keep it affordable for everyone". The partnership with We Drive Solar plays an important role in connecting these two worlds. On the one hand, MyWheels electric cars provide shared mobility in the neighborhood as well as acting as a local battery. On the other hand, EnergyZero's energy platform operates based on dynamic rates. We Drive Solar provides the connecting link. We Drive Solar has years of experience in charging and discharging (shared) cars and is using this knowledge to make the largest electric shared car fleet in the Netherlands accessible as storage capacity for a sustainable electricity supply.
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