Today’s Solutions: April 14, 2024

The Dutch city of Utrecht has just become the first region in the world with a bidirectional charging ecosystem, where energy harnessed by electric vehicles is fed back into a home or into the grid.

As part of the initiative, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands will use vehicle-to-grid charging (V2G) combined with car-sharing and solar electric vehicles (SEVs), all in a bid to allow for more efficient energy system amid mounting concerns over climate change.

To complement its bidirectional ecosystem, the city partnered with We Drive Solar, Hyundai, and Sono Motors to receive a fleet of SEVs. The cars will come from Sono Motors, a Munich-based startup, which will provide the city with 100 Sion solar cars as part of the agreement.

The vehicles will be able to collect solar energy before either using that power for driving or feeding it back into the grid. As reported by Interesting Engineering, the Sion has the energy capacity to deliver up to 11kW back into the grid or to other vehicles or homes via bidirectional charging.

A new way for EVs to help our transition away from fossil fuels

According to Sono Motors, the 100-car fleet will be able to provide combined 1.1-megawatt peak power to the city via bidirectional charging — the equivalent to the power that would be produced by a solar farm the size of two football fields.

The Sion car fleet will contribute to the city’s We Drive Solar car-sharing system, which also plans to adopt 150 bidirectional charging Hyundai Ioniq 5s by 2022. Overall the goal is to reduce grid instabilities in the city and the likelihood of blackouts as electricity demands surge in the coming years.

The plan will see the city make 500 bidirectional charging stations available to the public. Together with the car-sharing initiative, the bidirectional ecosystem is expected to pave the way towards a future where cars and energy are shared as part of a free-flowing system, with less car-congested streets and a much more efficient power grid.

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