The City of Utrecht and LomboXnet are planning to install at least 145 public charging points for electric cars this year. That’s impressive enough, but it’s not the whole story. These innovative charging points are suitable for storing solar energy in the batteries of electric cars and returning it to the neighbourhood later on. This means the charging stations let cars not only charge but also discharge. And that’s a big deal in a smart city’s drive towards energy efficiency and zero emissions.
Harnessing the power of the sun
LomboXnet, together with partners Last Mile Solutions, Siers and ElaadNL, has been developing the innovative technology in recent years. Robin Berg from LomboXnet explains: “The charging stations will make an important contribution to the energy transition in the future. By temporarily storing solar energy in electric cars, we can use this energy when it is needed. The charging stations are also suitable for charging at high power. This is great for electric car drivers, who can charge their car quickly, but also good for using peaks of sun and wind energy for charging.
Utrecht steals a lead in e-Mobility
The Utrecht Energy Fund is behind the first planned installation of public charging points on a large urban scale. A new international standard is also being applied for communication between the charging station and the car for the very first time. In future, drivers of different car brands in Utrecht will be able to tell a charging station how full the battery is and when charging or discharging can take place. Alderman Everhardt: “I am proud that Utrecht has this world first and continues to lead the way with smart energy networks. It is an important step for the large-scale storage of renewable energy in electric cars. Electric driving contributes to cleaner air in our city and a healthier environment and brings Utrecht closer to an emission-free zone in 2030 ”
Number of charging stations will continue to grow
The municipality is expanding the number of charging stations based on requests from residents with an electric car, and the increase of use of existing charging stations. Residents of Utrecht who have an electric car can submit a request for one or more additional charging points via www.030laadpaal.nl. Due to the increase in the number of electric cars, the number of charging points will grow strongly in the coming years. It is expected that, by the end of 2019, there will be around 600 to 800 public charging points in the city.