What are you planning for 2019? Groupe Renault has quite a few exciting developments in the pipeline. This includes the rollout of infrastructure for a second ‘Smart Island’ off the coast of France. Following on the success of the pilot project on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, transitioning the island of Belle-Île-en-Mer is poised to reduce its carbon footprint while simultaneously providing its inhabitants with the means to become increasingly energy-independent.
Why Focus on Islands?
Most islands have to import fuel and/or electricity from a nearby mainland, which is a cumbersome and expensive exercise. Renewable energy systems such as the kind that Renault will have a hand in establishing on Belle-Île-en-Mer makes spaces like these more energy independent.
How Will the Project Roll Out?
- Renault Zoe hatchbacks and Kangoo ZE vans will be made available for use by residents and visitors by means of a car-sharing service.
- Sufficient charging stations will be installed to service all of the E-vehicles on the island.
- The charging stations will be powered by solar panels that will installed on the island’s larger buildings.
- The solar power generated will be shared between the E-cars and the island’s buildings as required (e.g. the same panels may power a school during the week, and be rerouted to charging stations on Saturdays and Sundays).
- Second-life E-car batteries will be used to store solar energy for later use.
How Does Energy Storage Change the Game?
With the sale of electric cars on the increase, more second-life batteries are going to become available. These are batteries that have degraded to the point where it’s no longer suitable for automotive applications but can still be employed effectively for stationary energy storage. By storing energy for discharge when the sun is down, these second-life batteries effectively integrate electric cars with the overall power grid.
DID YOU KNOW? Alexandre Edmond Becquerel was the first person to realise how electricity could be generated from sunlight. In 1839 he determined that shining light on an electrode submerged in a conductive solution would create an electric current.
How’s that for an exciting development? Keep an eye on the blog in coming weeks and months as we share more insider info on what lies ahead for Groupe Renault, locally and around the globe. In the meantime, come and see our current models in person – there’s no better way to get a true feel for that Renault you’ve been eyeing than getting behind the wheel. Simply get in touch with your closest Renault branch to test drive the current models we have on offer.