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cities, our modern-day mobility labs

villes laboratoires mobilité
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cities, our modern-day mobility labs

Our cities are some of the world’s most densely occupied spaces, and as such serve as permanent laboratories for the ecological transition, notably when it comes to mobility. They are the focal point for numerous initiatives that seek to introduce new travel habits or tools aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mobilize – with its shared mobility, on-demand mobility and EV charging solutions – is playing an active part in helping cities along the road towards carbon neutrality.

  • energy storage
  • energy transition
  • shared mobility

Improving the green energy mix

The self-service electric vehicles that are currently deployed in the Dutch city of Utrecht have the ability to feed some of the electricity from their batteries back into the grid once hooked up to the city’s public charging points. This system, which uses vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, helps balance out the grid by only recharging batteries when demand is low and by returning energy to the grid during peak load times. It’s a shining example of how to encourage the use of intermittent renewable energy sources.

Providing à la carte mobility

Helsinki, a city with a reputation for setting the standard in the environmental protection sphere, decided to introduce an integrated on-demand mobility solution in the form of a single app, which led to the Finnish capital setting up a centralized MaaS (Mobility as a Service) system. The app provides users with information on the various modes of transport available, and allows them to combine different modes in a single click, be that taxi, metro, tram, bus, car or even bike. Users can also book, plan and pay for their journeys via the app. It’s kind of like carrying an A to Z of local transport around with you in your pocket!

 

Combining comfort with practicality

Having launched the project a few years ago with 2 pilot carports, the French city of Toulouse is currently testing the use of solar canopy installations in 12 carparks across the city, covering a total of 6,100 m2. These autonomous charging stations are capable of producing 1,000 MWh of electricity each year, which is equivalent to the consumption of  350 people. Parked vehicles can enjoy the shade of the facilities and be recharged  with ultra-local green electricity.

 

Decongesting the town centre

Back in 2007, the Slovenian capital Ljubljana was one of the very first to close its centre to vehicles due to constant traffic congestion. The city council then came up with a range of alternatives to help people get around: free electric taxis for the elderly and for families with children, improvement of the cycling and public transport network, generalised 30 km/h speed limit, delivery vehicles only allowed between 6 and 10 a.m., and even a 10-hectare zone that is totally car-free. A smoother mobility for a better breathing city centre.

Encouraging soft mobility solutions

Launched in 2008, the city of London’s “low emission zone” only allows low-polluting vehicles to access the city centre. Other major European cities have since followed suit, including Antwerp, Copenhagen, Paris, Milan and Berlin. In 2019, the London scheme was extended with the introduction of an “ultra low emission zone” and even a “zero emission zone” in the very heart of the city. It operates alongside the “London Congestion Charge”, a toll scheme that restricts vehicular access to the city. Walking or using soft mobility solutions is highly recommended!

Offering free parking

Since mid-2021, rechargeable electric and hybrid vehicles that emit less than 60g of CO2 per kilometre have been eligible for 6 consecutive hours of free parking in the heart of the French capital, Paris. This initiative was introduced to complement the “green badge” system, which allows anyone with a “clean” vehicle to park in Paris free of charge for up to two hours.

Calculating energy savings

The Irish city of Dublin has set up an online eco-calculator system that estimates the CO2 emissions avoided by users who prefer public transport to private vehicles. The aim? Encourage choices have. It’s a great way of raising people’s awareness of all the environmental benefits public transport has.

 

Robotising small deliveries

Last-mile deliveries are the most critical point in city-centre e-commerce logistics. In an effort to streamline these short deliveries to end customers, the Texan city of Huston is taking the bold steps  by putting small autonomous vehicles on its pavements. Delivery robots equipped with 360° cameras and sensors are now authorised to wend their way along the city’s streets transporting food, medication and other little parcels, which are dropped directly at the recipient’s door. It’s an amazing way of mitigating congestion on the American metropolis’s roads.

chap. 2: the battery… what are its (super) powers

ARTEFACT

the battery
[chap. 2] what are its super-powers?

Artefact is the video series conceived by Mobilize that tells the story of mobility through its objects.
Discover the episode focused on the battery of the electric vehicle. Artefact tells you all about this essential link of low-carbon mobility!

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

 

This episode on the battery is broken down into two videos. Here, in the second chapter, Artefact invite you to discover the batteries’ superpowers in the service of the electric grid. Charging your electric vehicle while reducing its impact, is it possible? What is the “second life of batteries”? Mobilize shares its solutions to make the electric vehicle batteries a boost for the energy transition.

 

 

Previously, in the first chapter, Artefact explained the manufacture and operation of batteries. Check it out!

 

the battery
[chap. 1] what is it?

What is a battery? How does it work? How are they made? What happens to them at the end of their life? With Mobilize, the basics of electric vehicle batteries will no longer hold any secrets for you!

watch the video

chap 1: the battery… what is it?

ARTEFACT

the battery
[chap. 1] what is it?

Artefact is the video series conceived by Mobilize that tells the story of mobility through its objects.
Discover the episode focused on the battery of the electric vehicle. Artefact tells you all about this essential link of low-carbon mobility!

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

 

This episode on the battery is broken down into two videos. Here, in the first chapter, Artefact explains the manufacture and operation of batteries. What is a battery? How does it work? How are they made? What happens to them at the end of their life? With Mobilize, the basics of electric vehicle batteries will no longer hold any secrets for you!

 

 

Want to learn more? The second chapter will go deeper into the benefits of the electric vehicle batteries in regard of the energy transition… Check it out!

 

the battery
[chap. 2] what are its super-powers?

Charging your electric vehicle while reducing its impact, is it possible? What is the “second life of batteries”? Mobilize shares its solutions to make the electric vehicle batteries a boost for the energy transition.

watch the video

the first all-electric boat on the Seine

bateau seine mobilize
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the first all-electric boat on the Seine

The company Seine Alliance has converted one of the vessels in its fleet, the “Black Swan”, into the first all-electric boat designed to navigate the Seine. The result of a partnership between Mobilize and integrator Green Vision, it is propelled by second-life batteries from electric vehicles. This is a project that heralds a new generation of “zero emissions” boats. Seine Alliance CEO Didier Spade answers our questions.

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

What is Seine Alliance and how is it committed to sustainable development?

Having operated on the Seine for some 30 years, the company – under the brand name “Paris Yacht Marina” provides its clients with a quayside loft space and moored boats at the Port de Grenelle in Paris’ 15th district. Sustainable development is in our DNA. We have always sought out the most environmentally-friendly propulsion solutions for our boats. On that note, we’re the first company to have embarked on the process of going electric with our entire fleet, which is set to be complete by 2024.

Is the Black Swan electric boat operational?

Sure! It is an elegant offshore that offers a smooth cruise on the Seine, in the heart of Paris. It’s propelled by two electric motors powered by second-life battery modules from Renault vehicles, notably the Kangoo E-TECH Electric. That means no engine noise, no smell from fumes and no environmentally-damaging emissions. All in all, it’s a unique passenger experience! The Black Swan, which is moored at Port de Grenelle, has room for 10 people, including on-board service, for 2-hour cruises between its home port and the Île Saint-Louis. We are aiming to run 150 to 200 cruises per year.

The challenge is first and foremost to show that it’s possible to run all-electric boats powered by second-life batteries efficiently and reliably… And to make all boat-owners want to go electric.

What made you opt for second-life batteries from electric car battery recycling, and why partner with Renault Group?

Wastefulness is destroying our planet. We’ve got to try to use our natural resources in a smarter way. And there’s actually no point in using new batteries to run riverboats. With second-life batteries we can easily reach the required speed, which is limited to 12 km/h in Paris, and charge them between cruises. There are no weight issues, so we can install more batteries to offset the difference in capacity without affecting the boat’s performance. With this in mind, it was only natural for us to partner up with French manufacturer Renault Group, an electric vehicle expert committed to the circular economy of its batteries, and more particularly with its Mobilize brand specialising in energy transition. Green Vision is providing us with technical guidance. This is the first time that three French companies have teamed up to develop a system like this. It’s a real challenge that’s inspiring big ambitions!

What are the challenges facing this pilot project?

First and foremost: to show that it’s possible to run all-electric boats powered by second-life batteries efficiently and reliably. The challenge is to make all boat-owners want to go electric. In Paris, 150 boats could potentially be optimized with electric or hybrid technology.

We want to raise awareness of the subject with the authorities, too, starting with the bodies that manage French waterways. This is so that the regulations, which are currently pretty restrictive for boats carrying more than 12 passengers, can be revised to give a fleet of electric riverboats the chance to develop.

Do you think you can apply this technology to other projects, notably that of the new ship France that you’re involved with?

The new France* is set to be a revolutionary ship, so it has to have a propulsion system that performs very well in terms of environmental impact. The appeal of second-life batteries is obvious – not least for maneuvers in ports and for the optimization of on-board power, which includes the electricity consumption of the galley, lighting, air conditioning, etc. As there are no weight issues with liners, loading one up with several tons of batteries is something we can consider.

More generally, this is a major opportunity to consider at a time when combustion engines are prohibited in some parts of the world, such as in a number of Norwegian fjords for example.

What does the future of river boating look like to you, especially regarding electric boat motor, in Paris and other cities worldwide?

The general shift towards electric energy, amplified by increasingly restrictive environmental standards, is irreversible. Provided that regulations are revised, battery-powered electric propulsion is already perfectly suited to some activities, like floating restaurants that navigate at low speed over lunch and in the evening. That said, for towboats and self-propelled boats, which make long crossings at full throttle, there is no realistic solution as yet. But research is making good progress. Like when aviation was in its infancy, there’s every reason to be hopeful!

 

* Le France is a former French transatlantic liner commissioned in 1912.

 

Copyright: Seine Alliance

giving a second life to electric car batteries

eolienne mobilize
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giving a second life to electric car batteries

Amaury Gailliez is Battery Business and Operations Director for the Mobilize brand. What’s one of his main tasks? Giving a second life to your electric car battery, often for stationary use.

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

What’s your department’s role in the life cycle management or even the recycling of electric car batteries?

At Renault Group and Mobilize, we are responsible for batteries, from their use in the car up until the end of their lifecycle. This includes its financing by the customer, its guarantee, but also its repair if necessary, which takes place in the Renault Group Refactory in Flins.

After all that, i.e. after its life in a vehicle for automotive use, the battery still has an average recharge capacity of 70%… which is no mean feat! This is where the Battery Business and Operations Department comes in. We recover the battery and give it a second life, for many more years of use before the final stage of recycling.

What potential second lives does Mobilize find for Renault Group electric vehicle batteries?

A battery is often repurposed for stationary use, which requires less power than mobile and especially automotive use. A battery is often reused in private residences or in larger public buildings. For the most part, they are used to store energy from local solar panels or wind turbines. Batteries charge when the sun shines and the wind blows, so that no kilowatt of green — and free — electricity is lost!

“Second life batteries charge when the sun shines and the wind blows, so that no kilowatt of green — and free — electricity is lost!”
Amaury Gailliez
Battery Business and Operations Director, Mobilize brand

We also use second-life batteries to boost certain electric vehicle charging stations. This is the case for quick-charging terminals along the motorway, which need a lot of energy over a short period of time. The operators of these terminals can therefore reduce their energy costs. Several such stations are up and running in Germany and Belgium, and we have recently announced the installation of battery containers associated with the Mobilize Fast Charge project: the new ultra-fast charging network in Europe.

There are also other applications for the electricity grid, including large-scale stationary storage systems called Advanced Battery Storage. Their goal is to manage the electric supply-demand balance in order to keep the network stabilised at 50 Hertz.

Finally, we even find second lives that keep our batteries moving! They power a refrigeration system on Kangoo and Zoe E-TECH Electric…, or even run electric boats.

Why should we give a battery a second life?

The main reason is to reduce the battery’s environmental impact. Instead of using the battery only for the life of the vehicle, it is given a second life of at least another 10 years. This makes it possible to postpone the need to recycle. In addition, the repurposed battery is often used to store green electricity, which favours the rise of renewable energies.

There is also an economic impact. This second life gives added value to the battery. This is important for making electric vehicles more and more affordable.

Companies that choose to buy a second-life battery from us are also getting a deal since they are paying about 30% less than they would for a new battery for stationary use. These are very robust batteries, designed in line with demanding specifications. Once the storage system has been developed, our batteries are immediately adapted to stationary mode.

What would be Mobilize’s most emblematic achievements in the field of second life batteries?

There are many, as we have seen! What is exciting is that our achievements concern applications on very different scales…

There are small-scale systems, such as the production of non-polluting generators, developed in partnership with the start-up betteries, from battery modules at the end of their automotive life, assembled in our Refactory in Flins.

There are medium-scale systems, such as the local electricity network in Belle-Île-en-Mer (France), designed by Morbihan Energies and Mobilize, which relies in particular on stationary storage in second-life car batteries to make maximum use of green electricity from solar panels.

And of course, there are large, even very large-scale systems such as stationary storage (which we call “Advanced Battery Storage”) with a capacity of almost 20 MWh in France and 3 MWh in Germany. Second life batteries are installed in several containers connected to the high voltage distribution network, to help it use as much green electricity as possible as soon as it is produced from renewable energy.

For Mobilize, the applications for energy storage in second life batteries from electric vehicles are therefore almost endless.

understanding energy transition

transition energetique
LEVEL UP

understanding energy transition

“Energy transition” is one of the main elements of the ecological transition, which advocates a more sustainable economic, social and environmental model. Everyone’s talking about it, and what’s more, it’s happening right now. So what’s behind this concept, what are the stakes involved and what impact is it having on mobility?

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

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the energy transition at the heart of the ecological transition

Energy transition is the name given to the change in energy generation methods and energy consumption. It’s about a shift towards a more frugal system based on decarbonized energy sources that are renewable, clean and safe. This applies to almost all human activities: heating, lighting, transportation, industry, etc. It’s about cutting the use of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) – non-renewable, greenhouse-gas-producing energy sources – in favor of renewable energy sources that are considered inexhaustible such as the sun (solar power), wind (wind power), water (hydraulic power), heat from underground (geothermal power), tide movement (tidal power) and organic matter (biomass).

This energy transition revolves around two main tenets: generating energy in ways that release less carbon dioxide (CO2) and cutting overall energy consumption, in particular by improving efficiency. The aim is therefore to do better, with less. This gradual shift from one energy model to another is the reason we talk about a “transition”.

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major challenges for the energy transition

combatting global warming

Three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions are due to energy combustion. This includes the transport of goods and people, including aviation (26%), industrial production of electricity, heat and other fuels (24%), and the energy used by households, businesses and institutions (14%) or by companies to produce or build (11%), according to Eurostat. The combustion of coal, oil and gas to produce this energy releases carbon in the form of CO2, which is responsible for more than 80% of the greenhouse effect. Global warming is the consequence. Abandoning fossil fuels in favour of decarbonised energies would automatically contribute to limiting emissions, particularly of CO2, and thus fight against global warming.Safeguarding the population and public health

Global warming causes an imbalance in atmospheric ecosystems that, among other things, leads to a rise in extreme weather phenomena (storms, heatwaves, floods, droughts) which pose a direct threat to the population and threaten key human activities like farming.

It’s also worth noting that the greenhouse gases that cause global warming are not the only emissions released by the burning of fossil fuels. They also release fine particles and other polluting emissions that affect air quality. By working to reduce them, energy transition therefore also improves public health.

reducing overall consumption

Energy transition also involves consuming less by living a more considered lifestyle and reducing waste.

It’s about avoiding using energy unnecessarily and optimizing systems so that they need less energy to produce the same yield. In the building, renovation, construction and automotive industries, strict norms and changes to heating systems can help cut yearly heating bills by 90%. This is what’s called energy efficiency. In the future, the development of smart grids and data from smart cities will facilitate the implementation of ambitious and appropriate energy efficiency policies.

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the energy transition underway

The energy transition is not just a vision for the future, it is an ongoing process. The NGO WWF has identified in a summary “15 signals” that show its progress around the world, such as the growing share of renewable energies in new electricity production facilities. And forecasts by the International Energy Agency show that renewables are expected to account for a third of electricity generation by 2025, ahead of coal. The progression of energy transition can also be measured in terms of the number of jobs that it creates. The International Labour Organization predicts that the green economy will create 24 million jobs worldwide by 2030. In the energy sector, this will notably go hand-in-hand with changing the energy mix, promoting the use of electric vehicles and improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

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the electric vehicle, accelerating the development of green electricity consumption

Modes of transportation, especially those run on fuel, are a significant source of energy expenditure and emissions. Again, the “less and better” tenet applies. The transportation sector alone accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. This is less than energy production, but more than agriculture and industrial processes.

electric mobility in the energy transition

The European Parliament points out that the road transport sector accounts for around one fifth of EU emissions, with private cars accounting for around 60% of these sectoral emissions.

Energy transition and electric vehicle development therefore seem to be closely linked if you look at the CO2 emissions released throughout the electric vehicle’s entire life cycle. Right from the start, the electric vehicle doesn’t release CO2 when being driven*. The origin of the electricity that it needs to run also plays an essential role in this positive impact. The more it comes from renewable sources, the more electric vehicles will turn out to be a smart choice. The European Environment Agency states that, using electricity solely from renewable energy sources, an electric vehicle releases four times less CO2 across its whole life cycle than a combustion-powered vehicle. What’s more, according to the FNH (foundation for nature and mankind), based on the average energy mix in France, an electric car already has a carbon balance that’s two to three times better than that of a combustion-engine car.

In parallel, electric vehicle technologies promote the incorporation of renewable energy sources into the electric mix. By helping energy supply and demand to coincide, smart charging and two-way charging (vehicle to grid) contribute to regulate and stabilize the network to make low-carbon, more affordable electricity available to everyone. Stationary energy battery storage systems using repurposed batteries from electric vehicles complete the picture by plugging gaps in the supply of renewable energy.

What remains is to reduce the impact of manufacturing; essential when it comes to developing the electric vehicle market. In particular, this concerns the extraction of raw materials, production method efficiency, battery evolutions and the development of recycling.

innovative mobility systems used as part of energy transition

The European Union has set itself the goal of reaching a 90% reduction in transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To get there, we’ll need to change our behavior too. Starting, notably with the transportation of people, by reducing mobility needs through promoting remote working for company employees, or even by designing cities that are more centralized and suited to “active” modes of transportation (walking, cycling) and public transportation. Shared mobility is another development angle. Services like carpooling and car sharing on a self-serve basis are in particular aimed at reducing traffic volume and optimizing the utilization rate of cars, especially in city centers. In the future, connected and self-driving electric vehicles will bring cities efficient solutions for improved traffic flow, freeing up some of the space taken up by cars and improving city-dwellers’ quality of life.

Energy transition is therefore accompanied by a change in energy policy but also by a change in our behaviour and lifestyles. It is a challenge, a vector of innovation and a source of opportunities. Mobilize, the new Renault Group brand, has understood this. By covering the entire ecosystem of electric and intelligent mobility, the solutions proposed by Mobilize voluntarily follow a path towards carbon neutrality.

 

*Neither atmospheric emissions of CO2 nor pollutants while driving (excluding wear parts).

 

Copyrights: inakiantonana, Mlenny, CarlFourie, LEMAL Jean-Brice, PLANIMONTEUR

from microwatts to big impact

podcast mobilize
OPEN WORLD

from microwatts to big impact

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

Podcast Mobilize

Stationary energy storage: a new stage for our electric vehicle batteries – Stationary energy storage: a new stage for our electric vehicle batteries – 

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The battery is known for powering our electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. But did you know that these wonderful little objects can do much more than that? Did you know that batteries could be reborn, outside of vehicles, and bring energy to everyone?

Roch Drozdowski-Strehl, Managing Director of the Institut Photovoltaïque of Île-de-France, and Yasmine Assef, Performance Director of the Energy Department at Mobilize, take you on a journey to discover the immense potential of stationary storage!

Talk with Roch Drozdowski-Streh, CEO of the Institut Photovoltaïque of Île-de-France

We’ll talk about mobility but let’s talk first about energy transition. I would like to get your personal view, where are we now?

First of all, thank you for your invitation. It would be useful indeed to begin our discussion by defining what the energy transition is. We are at a key moment in our history, and in the public debate on energy and climate, as we are defining our strategy to get out of fossil fuels. We aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 as per the Paris Agreement objectives.

This transformation away from fossil fuels must be completed in just three decades, and accelerated substantially by 2030. 2030 is an important milestone for Europe already, as it corresponds to a 55% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions versus the 1990 baseline.

It’s interesting to note one thing the International Energy Agency has been insisting on in its latest communications. In a context of rising global energy prices, the problems of the end of the world and the end of the month find a common response in the energy transition. In other words, moving away from fossil fuels is not just a climate imperative, it is also a matter of energy affordability and security of supply.

Apart from existing renewable energies, which are the most promising innovations to sustain the energy transition?

Well there are different options to accomplish this transition, one of the latest studies on the subject was released in October 2021 by RTE, which is the company in charge of electricity transmission in France. Through broad consultation it explores the different ways to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.

These different scenarios have common points: lower energy consumption, higher share of electricity, increasing use of renewable energies.

Innovation will be a powerful driver of this transformation – we will find it on many levels. We will find it upstream: as you said, the development of a decarbonised power generation with available technologies and the upcoming new generations, solar for instance.

We will find it downstream, find ways to foster energy sobriety to help us consume less and better. In the effort to electrify a growing number of uses, transportation for instance, to replace fossil fuels. Without forgetting the link between energy production and consumption. To name a few examples, parts of the networks will have to evolve in order to communicate more, electricity storage will be further developed, new means of controlling consumption will appear, some systems will have to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Roch, you mentioned the RTE collective energy network in France, but could the development of renewable energies and the boom of electric cars affect or disrupt that connective network. We know that renewable energies are not fully controllable and electric cars require energy consumption.

That’s a very good point, indeed one of the characteristics of renewable energies is that they are fluctuating. Take solar energy for instance: the amount of energy delivered to earth by the sun is gigantic – more than 8,000 times the world’s annual energy consumption. That said, a solar panel at night does not produce. Nor does a wind turbine if there is no wind. It is very different from other means of energy production, called controllable, which can be turned on when you want – say in the winter to produce heat, orduring the summer to produce cold.

So what should we do with this renewable energy that is delivered to us according to the weather rather than consumer demand? Well, in order of priority: first, use it of course, locally if there is a demand to serve. Second, move it in space, via the networks, if it is needed in a different place. Or third, move it in time, via energy storage, as this energy available now might be needed at another time.

Depending on the charging strategy, electric vehicles can thus be helping us increase the share of renewables in our consumption.

And maybe you believe in a virtuous circle. What could that virtuous circle be?

We have already talked about electrification: the development of electric mobility is one of the levers of the energy transition. Beyond that, the electric vehicles can become adaptive consumers in the face of a production whichdepends on the weather rather than demand. The driver becomes an actor in the energy transition by accepting that an algorithm adjusts the vehicle’s charging according to the availability of renewable energy.

We can go further, as the vehicle remains parked on average more than 90% of the time, if we imagine that it is capable of returning part of its energy to the grid when it is needed. The vehicle could then contribute even more to the supply/demand balance, which is so important for the electrical grid, by becoming what we could call a prosumer, a producer and consumer at the same time.

You mean the EV (electric vehicle) battery isn’t used just for running the car?

Exactly, in this scenario, the electric vehicle is a dynamic part of the energy system. It actively participates in the integration of carbon-free energy in our consumption, and reinforces the resilience of the electricity network. That is to say, it increases its capacity to deal with unforeseen events.

And for the batteries, what are the benefits to recycling them?

Well on that point, we need to place what we call circularity at the heart of technological development and innovation. We need to move away from an understanding of the world that assumes that what nature provides us with is available in unlimited quantities, and that is unconcerned with the type, quantities and fate of the waste we produce. We have 3 words to move in the right direction: reduce, reuse, recycle. Reduce: to reduce our consumption, the quantity of resources needed to make a product or service. Reuse: explore all avenues of recovery, find second lives for our products. Finally recycle: once the product is used, maximise its value as a raw material for other products.

And my last question, would you say stationary storage is a “trend”, in a work in progress way? If not, could you give us examples of use cases?

Well from a network perspective, storage is an ideal flexible resource to support the energy transition. Currently, hydraulic storage with pump storage stations remains the most widely deployed technology. Having said that, one of the effects of the rise of electric mobility has been a considerable reduction in the price of batteries. Therefore, battery-based stationary storage has benefited from this and is developing rapidly. There are several use cases we can think of. It can be integrated into the grids to help stabilise fluctuating production. It can be part of a production unitto make the output of a solar or wind farm more predictable. It can also be placed behind the meter to lower the electricity bill or support the consumption of self-generated energy. In short, the energy storage function is an essential level of the energy transition.

Talk with Yasmine Assef, Performance Director of Mobilize’s Energy Department

Roch just told us previously about energy storage in the electric vehicles, but let’s focus now on the stationary storage. Isn’t this quite counter-intuitive for a mobility object?

It is actually complementary. Batteries are of course designed first of all for mobility purposes and cars. However, we can imagine they remain in the car for 10 to 15 years for mobility and we consider that we can give them a “second life” and re-use them for other purposes for another 10 to 15 years. One of them is the energy stationary storage.

How does stationary energy storage work concretely, Yasmine?

Batteries are an equipment to store electricity and give it back when it is necessary. For example, we can store the electricity generated by wind turbines or solar panels when they are abundant. Instead of losing them, we can store them in the batteries and use them later when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining. This helps to integrate more renewables in the energy mix.

Depending on the number of batteries used, we will have smaller or bigger storages. So for a small number of batteries we can imagine portable storage, which can be used instead of old diesel generators. And you can also use more batteries for a bigger system that will work at national scale in relation to with the national power grid.

Mobilize and its partners have developed a system called ABS, Advanced Battery Storage, which uses batteries from electric vehicles to create a particularly ambitious stationary storage. I would be delighted to know more about it.

I was just saying that you can have big and small storage, so Advanced battery Storage is a big scale project connected to the national grid. This project consists of using EV battery packs, exactly the same as you have in a car. You just take them out, connect them together inside a maritime container, and plug it into the electricity Grid.  This system will provide electricity, help to stabilize the grid and thus increase the part of renewable energy.

There is a high environmental benefit because first of all, you will doublethe utilization period of the automotive battery. In that sense, we will reduce the carbon footprint of electric vehicles over their lifecycle. Second benefit, we increase the part of renewable energy in the grid and by way of consequence, reduce the part of fossil-based energies. That’s the goal of Advanced Battery Storage. These are big containers, and each contains between 30 to 50 batteries presenting 1MWh of electricity storage. This is approximately 3 months of consumption for a French household.

At what stage Mobilize is on the development of Advanced Battery Storage?

Today, we do have 3 installations already. 2 are in operation for months, one in Douai, in Renault production plant and the other one in Germany, in a former coal-fired power station today shut down. It’s a real example of the changing going from coal to renewable energy. The third one is installed already in the Renault Refactory plant at Flins, where the ZOE cars are manufactured. This one is quite big, it represents 15MWh of storage. It will be in operation very soon. The Advanced Battery Storage full program will reach 70MWh, which will represent the biggest stationary storage installation based on EV batteries in Europe.

What are the long-term objectives for Mobilize, Yasmine? Does Mobilize aim to become an energy player?

Mobilize and Mobilize Energy is connecting the e-mobility sector to the energy sector. With the large number of electric vehicles coming to European roads, to give an example 15 million electric vehicles on the French roads in 2030, EV will represent a huge capacity. A huge capacity for virtual storage – not stationary but mobile, cars are running around – and this represents a substantial opportunity of additional business for Mobilize.

how do Mobilize solutions contribute to carbon neutrality?

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how do Mobilize solutions contribute to carbon neutrality?

Mobility is one of our most precious allies in achieving carbon neutrality. Mobilize is fully aware of this and has developed a range of services adapted to each need. The quicker our mobility habits evolve, the better the outcome for the climate. Still not sure? We’ll explain everything with some figures for back-up.

  • connectivity
  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition
  • shared mobility

year of carbon neutrality

…for Renault Group in Europe particularly thanks to Mobilize. The new brand offers mobility solutions with reduced CO2 emissions: electric, of course, but also shared and multi-modal. Mobilize promotes renewable energies, circumventing the issue of their intermittence: green electricity is stocked in the battery, by the electric vehicle, as later in its second life. With fewer new cars and batteries needed, Mobilize reduces the carbon footprint and is part of a more circular economy.

100% electric vehicles dedicated to mobility services

Innovation plays a key role in the design of Mobilize vehicles, as well as in their marketing: their drivers only pay for what they use. The Limo sedan is the perfect taxi or ride-hailing vehicle; the compact Duo vehicle will suit shared mobility; with its storage compartment, Bento has been designed for transporting small objects; while the modular Hippo vehicle will be ideal for last mile delivery.

energy capacity of stationary storage

With its Advanced Battery Storage (ABS) system, Mobilize uses electric batteries, before and after their life in vehicles, to regulate the national grid frequency, so that it benefits from a maximum of green energy. Thanks to their storage capacity, the batteries contribute to matching fluctuations in renewable energy production with fluctuations in consumer demand.

carbon footprint of electric vehicles vs combustion vehicles

…on average in Europe: across its entire lifetime an electric vehicle emits almost 3 times less CO2 (-63%) than an internal combustion vehicle*. Even if its production requires more energy, the effect is drastically inversed once the car is on the road. To take it to the next level, Mobilize is going beyond the individual car pattern, in favour of electric vehicles destined to be leased with related services.

electricity circulation

Already today, with Mobilize smart charge, the vehicle smartly charges when electricity has the lowest carbon content. In the future, with V2G (vehicle-to-grid) technology, a vehicle could restore some of the energy of its battery to the grid to help it tackle peaks in consumption without needing to turn to carbon electricity production.

electrified vehicles shared via the Mobilize services

Only use a vehicle when you really need to? With developments in society and environmental challenges, car sharing is an innovative solution, which can be managed from your smartphone. Mobilize share is already available in a dozen countries to rent a car by the hour or by the day. Zity by Mobilize is a free-floating car-sharing system already well-known in Madrid and Paris, starting from one minute and without a time limit.

charging stations in Europe

… almost eight times more than six years ago! The fear of running out of power for lack of a recharging solution is dissipating and electromobility is taking off. In addition, with Mobilize charge pass, drivers of Renault electric or rechargeable hybrid vehicles can access the largest network of charging stations in Europe with just one card and no subscription.

equipping your company with charging stations is there a breeze

Fleets are becoming more and more electrified, for the benefit of the energy transition and without neglecting the economic aspect. To meet the needs of professionals, Mobilize power solutions handles the design, installation, use and maintenance of charging infrastructure in any type of business. This service maximises the efficiency of charging stations, without unnecessary over-investment.

modulable capacity of the 100% electric generator

The betterGen, developed by betteries with the support of Mobilize, replaces polluting generators. Made up of used battery modules from electric vehicles, it produces zero emissions, and is silent and modulable. It delivers 48V direct current or 220V alternating current. Its charging system even allows it to be adapted to a solar panel…

* Transport & Environment 2020

my battery, trusted partner of the energy transition

STORY

my battery, trusted partner of the energy transition

24.02.2022

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

Moving away from fossil fuels places solar and wind as essential power sources of the energy transition. Mobilize, a brand committed to carbon neutrality, seeks to foster greater integration of such renewable energy sources in the energy mix. How? Thanks to stationary storage solutions like Advanced Battery Storage. In utilising electric vehicle batteries, it also serves to extend their life span…it’s time to find out more.

 

 

Every second of every day, we use energy. To move, to communicate, to heat… Around the world, such use of energy is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal, gas, and oil still account for 80% of global energy production. But, unlike solar or wind, these fossil fuels are limited resources. The shift away from them and over to renewable energy is a process involving a number of challenges. First and foremost, they present a major flaw: intermittency. That is where stationary storage comes into play.

Why store energy?

Demand for energy, in particular electricity, varies throughout the year and also of the course of a day. Periods of high demand, such as 7.30pm, are currently covered by output from thermal power plants or through imported electricity. Storage technology is designed to stock surplus energy output that is later fed back into the grid later during peak demand, without having to resort other options that are CO2 intensive.

Storage is an essential factor of the renewable energy equation. In fact, while solar power is abundant and easy to tap into via photovoltaic panels, and wind power is growing steadily, their biggest drawback is their intermittent output. In other words, wind turbines and solar panels are great when there is wind or the sun is shining, but what do you do when there isn’t even the slightest breeze, there are clouds in the sky, or at night?

Storage is used to compensate for such fluctuations, it is like a fuel tank that fills up fills up during peak production and empties out when demand is high. It is called ‘stationary storage’ when it involves fixed batteries, unlike mobile storage, such as computer or car batteries. Mobilize is tackling the issue head on with its ‘Advanced Battery Storage’ stationary storage devices that have already been rolled at several sites in France and Europe.

Stationnary storage help compensate renewables intermittent output

Stationary storage and electric vehicle batteries: a perfect match!

In addition to providing a sustainable solution for renewable energies, stationary storage is also a viable reusing option for the types of batteries found in electric cars. When a battery is no longer fit for use in a vehicle, and before being recycled, it can be given a ‘second life’ in electricity storage, which is a less rigorous and demanding task in terms of energy density and power.

EV batteries can have a second life
“A battery is much more than just a tool used in mobility. Once its life being useful in a vehicle has come to an end, it still has considerable residual value and can be used for other purposes that are less demanding being used in a car, such as stationary storage. We see it as the next logical step.”
Christophe
Program Manager for Energy Services at Mobilize in charge of rolling out the Advanced Battery Storage project

The Advanced Battery Storage is Europe’s largest stationary electricity storage device ever built from electric vehicle batteries. The batteries are stacked into containers (30 to 60 batteries per container) which are then joined up and plugged into the grid. Each container represents a capacity of 1 MWh (megawatt hour), which is roughly as much energy as an average French household uses in three months. While the system uses second-life batteries, there are also some additional unused batteries that are eased in to their ‘career’ before being used in electric vehicles such as the Renault ZOE.

The storage capacity of each container is roughly as much as the consumption of an average French home in three months

Challenges to be overcome, but there is potential

High storage capacity, increased range, small space: these are some of the challenges faced by this new technology. Rome wasn’t built in a day!  Bear in mind that the first lead-acid battery dates back to 1859 and the advent of Li-ion technology and the first unit sold was only in 1991!

However, technology is advancing at a much faster pace is now showing great potential: ultimately, the storage capacity of Advanced Battery Storage will reach 70 MWh. That is close to the daily energy use of town with 5,000 homes! 

With the fight against global warming calling for more renewable energy, stationary storage – and therefore electric vehicle batteries – is proving its worth as a major asset in helping champion the energy transition.

Mobilize : Mobilize, a brand committed to carbon neutrality

 

Around the world of green energy

In France, as required by current legislation on the Energy Transition for green growth, renewable energies will have to account for 40% of electricity generation by 2030.

A quick trip around the world*, gives a quick understanding that some of our neighbours are already doing well.

Iceland, for example, took the path of renewables a long time ago. It is the world’s leading country in terms of green energy production per capita, with renewables covering 100% of the country’s energy use.

Costa Rica has produced nearly 100% of its electricity from renewable sources since May 2019. The country achieved such an ambitious goal through hydro, solar, wind, and geothermal energy – made possible thanks to roughly sixty volcanoes

In Norway, renewable energy accounted for nearly 70% of total electricity consumption by the end of 2015. In 2020, the share in the mix reached 95%, mainly due to a large use of hydro power. This is one of the best levels in Europe.

*(source: Lendopolis, subsidiary of La Banque Postale)

 

Writer: Valérie Calloc’h

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to limit the rise in temperature, the automobile industry must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

the double life of my battery

Story

the double life of my battery

06.05.2021

  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • energy transition

To limit the rise in temperature, the automobile industry must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. How can this be done? By encouraging the switch to electric vehicles while optimising and extending the life of batteries. With Mobilize, the objective is to create sustainable ecosystems that combine electric mobility, intelligent recharging and the reuse of batteries to store renewable energy. To achieve this, Mobilize is combining its expertise with that of other players such as the start-up Green-Vision, based in Etampes, near Paris, which specialises in the integration of second-life batteries into other vehicles. Yann Lelong, its founder, explains how this partnership works and what it brings to life with the ex-batteries of Renault vehicles.

Ten years ago, Renault Group was the first carmaker to bet on the circular economy and the electric vehicle. Today, the results are as good as that bet, with the company now number one in electric vehicles in Europe and a leading position in the circular economy with the Re-Factory in Flins. Acting on the entire life cycle of the battery means accelerating the deployment of more efficient, low-carbon batteries, but there is still a significant step to be taken before they are recycled: their reuse or reconditioning.

“The battery is considered used when it leaves the vehicle at the end of its life. However, this is still more than enough for less energy-intensive applications. This is where I come in, as an integrator specialising in reconditioning.”
YANN LELONG
GREEN-VISION Director

To each his own!

Aware of the potential that a battery can offer and the environmental virtue of its reconditioning, Yann Lelong, an engineer by training, with a passion for cars, mechanics and electronics, has specialised in electrification and the circular economy. Through his start-up Green-Vision, he gives a second life to the batteries of electric vehicles for customers looking for solutions compatible with their uses… and their values.

The partnership with Mobilize allows him to reuse used batteries from Renault electric vehicles, which – after nearly 10 years of good and loyal service – are then put to a new use. They can no longer be used to power a vehicle but can be put to many other uses. And this is where their new life begins… because they still have enough capacity for a reconversion of choice!

Second life of Renault battery

“As integrators we disassemble the components of these original batteries to reassemble new packs. A bit like LEGO that we reassemble with a new weight and voltage, according to our customers’ needs. This is the magic of second life.”

From pizza delivery scooters to food trucks

These new lives are varied. For example, the batteries can be used to power two-wheelers: electrically-assisted bicycles, pizza delivery scooters or this record-breaking motorbike. Anything is possible, including performance, with second life batteries!

A 100% zero-emission foodtruck

Another example is this foodtruck based on a Master Z.E., a zero-emission mobile catering unit, both on the engine side and the kitchen side. The large amount of electrical power needed for the waffle makers, salad bowls, toasters and deep fryers is provided by second life batteries and solar panels. No more need to plug into an electrical outlet or a noisy, smelly generator to provide non-stop service.

Second life batteries can also be useful for transporting pharmaceutical products, such as vaccines, for which the storage temperature must be absolutely stable and controlled. When the driver stops the vehicle engine for a delivery, the cold production is cut off. Here, the second life batteries continue to provide the energy needed to ensure that the cold chain is not affected, even if the engine is switched off.

So an extra slice of life before recycling is not insignificant!

” We still have many ideas for applications with these second-life batteries that we are developing. “

> Learn more on our action for climate

 

Writer:  Valérie Calloc’h

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