Volkswagen and Energy Web have developed a new smart charging solution that enables owners of electric vehicles (EVs) to power their cars using renewable electricity whenever possible.
The charger is matched directly with the EV’s real-time electricity consumption, with the solution relying on “24/7” matching algorithm that optimises charging to maximise the use of clean and locally-sourced power.
EV drivers can therefore dictate the date and time of charging, the desired level of charge and the renewable energy facility the power is sourced from.
Over a three-month trial, several Volkswagen ID.4 vehicles were successfully charged using local clean energy, with a full array of charging sessions tested, running from a couple of hours through to sessions spanning several days.
The majority of tests took place near Wolfsburg in Germany and sought renewable power from wind and solar farms in the surrounding area.
Volkswagen is currently exploring how the solution – which enables consumers to show proof of renewable energy purchases – can be further developed and rolled out at production scale.
The smart charging app was developed by integrating Energy Web’s open-source 24/7 toolkit into Volkswagen EV solution subsidiary Elli’s green charging app, which provides users with access to more than 300,000 public charging points across Europe.
Jesse Morris, CEO at Energy Web said: “This is the first time ever that an electric vehicle has been charged using a verified 24/7-matched clean energy strategy – coming at a time when EV adoption is gathering speed and charging is placing larger demands on electricity grids than ever before.
“The purpose of this project has been to showcase that advanced EV charging solutions can empower EV owners to set their own preferences for when and where they get their energy. For instance, they can select to charge using wind and solar resources, from energy assets within a 10 km radius, and target 80% charge by 5pm – all from within a user-friendly application, with an accurate breakdown of their session’s carbon footprint.”