October 1, 2022

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V2X Suisse: 50 electric mobile cars that turn into power banks

Rotkreuz – Electric cars have the ability to plug gaps in the power supply by feeding power back into the grid. The bi-directional technology behind it is tested under real conditions for the first time. The Swiss pilot project “V2X Suisse” has been officially launched at the parking station in Bern – on the largest mobility site in the city. Over the course of a year, it will now be investigated how electric vehicles can be used as storage in the future to bridge energy gaps and increase grid stability.

Seven companies are behind the project, with car-sharing company Mobility taking the lead and making 50 “Honda e” available at 40 locations across Switzerland. These electric vehicles feed the grid with power from their batteries when they are not being driven. It is the first large-scale test using electric vehicles with a two-way charging chain. This enables results from different conditions – both in rural and urban areas. “Our Switzerland-wide fleet network is virtually set out for this pilot project,” says Roland Loescher, CEO of Mobility.

Electric mobility as part of the solution
The basic idea behind V2X and bi-directional charging is that electric cars can not only draw power, but also give it back. Especially since cars stay idle for an average of 23 hours a day. The so-called “permanent tools” become power banks that can be combined to form a large energy storage, similar to a tank. In this way, distribution network operators and households, so to speak, can get electricity from electric cars at peak times, while getting them fully charged again during the day – when the sun is shining – at a cheaper rate.

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The proportion of electric cars on Swiss roads is steadily increasing. On the one hand, electric mobility increases the demand for electricity, and on the other hand, it can be part of the solution thanks to V2X technology. This enhances overall network stability for both distribution network operators and swissgrid (national network operator). In the future, electricity providers will be able to better compensate for fluctuations, reduce bottlenecks in the distribution network, reduce costly network expansions and prevent power shortages. The potential is huge, but it needs to be used more efficiently.

Continuous process conceivable
Marco Pivaretti, “V2X Suisse” project manager and Mobility’s electric mobility expert, is convinced that the results of the one-year testing process will give V2X technology the necessary boost. “We are gaining the expertise we urgently need to be able to master the technical and regulatory challenges related to bi-directional shipping.” The project is designed so that if successful, it can be converted directly into continuous operation. (m/y)

More information about the project

«V2X Suisse»: Technical Details
Seven companies are behind V2X Suisse, and the project leader is Mobility. There are also: car manufacturers (Honda), software developers (Sunwheel), developers of charging stations (EVTEC), aggregators (Teco), scientific support (Novatlantis, in association with ETH). The project is supported by the SFOE pilot and demonstration program. In the next few weeks, Mobility will supply 40 locations with 50 Honda e electric vehicles (two-way max. ± 20 kW). Two different types of charging stations are used: on the one hand, two-way DC charging stations specially developed for this project by EVTEC with dual and combinerable CCS (Combined Charging System) output, on the other hand, two-way Honda Power Manager DC charging stations with one CCS output . Both are equipped with ripple control receivers for distribution network operators and with a digital interface. The energy available to each Mobility electric vehicle is managed every quarter hour via the sun2wheel cloud-to-cloud IT platform in order to enable/control billing.

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