Renault Group

Innovation Deal: The Virtuous Loop of Electric Vehicle

The European pioneer and leader of e-mobility, Renault is also a front runner on the road to achieve the circular economy of electric vehicles, with innovative projects and bold ambitions in the fields of EV battery second life and Vehicle To Grid applications.

The Group is actively promoting an evolution of the existing legal framework to better embrace and support such innovations which challenge the rules and shift the lines of the traditional “linear” economy, erasing the boundaries between product and waste or between the transport and energy sectors. Hence, a battery originally designed to power a car can also be used as a storage capacity to store intermittent renewable energies such as wind or solar power, during both its “vehicle life” through vehicle-to-grid applications (or bidirectional charging : the battery can inject power into the grid when the demand exceeds renewable energy production), and a “second life” in stationary storage applications once its first life on the vehicle is over.

Within the framework of the European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan, the Innovation Deal “From E-Mobility to recycling: the virtuous loop of the electric Vehicle” was launched in 2018 between the Commission, Renault and seven other public and private partners(1), with the aim of identifying potential legal barriers to a widespread, environmentally beneficial and economically viable development of vehicle-to-grid services and second life EV battery applications within the European Union.

At the outcome of this collaborative work, the partners have identified a series of legal or market barriers which may penalize second life batteries or vehicle-to-grid services, such as :

  • The risk of perfectly functional and reusable EV batteries being prematurely classified as waste, hampering their transportation from a country to another to meet market needs across the EU ;
  • The payment of double energy tax and grid fees in the studied EU member states (France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden) in case of bidirectional Smart Charging ;
  • The lack of incentive to roll-out Smart Charging infrastructure, and for EV owners to optimise their own power consumption behind the meter using the battery of their electric vehicle as a power storage capacity ;

These findings are summarized on the Final Report and further developed in the deliverables that can be downloaded by clicking on the respective links below :

The European Commission has decided to publish these documents as part of its evaluation of the current Battery Directive (which is to be revised in the next two years) , thus recognizing the quality and relevance of this work and acknowledging Renault as a key stakeholder in this field.

 (1) Bouygues Energies & Services, LomboXnet, the French and Dutch Ministries of Environment and Economic Affairs and the Province of Utrecht in the Netherlands.