Dutch carshare operator partners to create energy storage facility

Dutch carsharing operator MyWheels is deploying CloudBoxx from Invers into its latest fleet of shared cars with bidirectional charging technology.

The company is also partnering with We Drive Solar and thanks to the integration of more than 200 We Drive Solar vehicles into the MyWheels fleet, carsharing company is enabling customers in the Dutch city of Utrecht to use cars as a neighbourhood energy storage facility.

Increasing grid resilience

With bidirectional charging technology, electric vehicles (EVs) can get power from a charging station and also return power to the grid when needed. That means that electric cars can help to supply electricity when there is a shortage, and thereby keep the grid stable. This helps to increase grid resilience and is beneficial for drivers because they can save money by using their cars to sell power back.

“Bidirectional charging is an innovative approach to balance a city’s electricity demand while carsharing answers a city’s mobility demand,” explains Alexander Kirn, CEO of Invers.

“We are always keen to combine our sharing expertise with other innovative approaches to mobility. Bidirectional charging in a sharing fleet is a great example of how innovative technology enables sustainability in mobility as well as energy supply.”

Available solar and wind energy is used to charge the shared cars and it can be supplied back when there is more demand for sustainable electricity. Shared cars as mobile neighbourhood batteries can play an important role in combatting grid congestion and accelerate the energy transition.

In 2021, when project studies were underway, the University of Utrecht estimated that around 10,000 EVs with bidirectional charging would be enough to balance the city’s entire electricity demand. That’s less than 10 per cent of the current number of cars in the city.

MyWheels started its carsharing operations more than ten years ago as a private initiative to share cars between neighbours. It has grown into the largest car-sharing platform in the Netherlands and by the end of 2022 MyWheels has connected more than 200,000 users with shared cars.

The company has been relying on Invers sharing technology since 2019. “It was a very obvious decision to install the CloudBoxx from Invers into the cars from We Drive Solar as well to maintain consistency in our fleet,” says Michiel Nicolai, head of operations at MyWheels. “We are used to working with CloudBoxx and our platform is fully integrated with Invers technology.”

Source: smartcitiesworld.net