Renault and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) are collaborating to create a compact, bidirectional charger for electric vehicles. This charger, known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, allows electric vehicles to not only charge their batteries but also supply energy back to the domestic power grid. This is particularly useful during periods of high renewable energy generation and low energy consumption.

The V2G technology takes advantage of the fact that electric vehicles are typically parked for extended periods of time and allows their battery to serve as a storage source for the power grid. This can improve the overall stability and efficiency of the grid and provide additional energy independence for households.

Renault has announced that this technology may be integrated into its electric vehicle ranges within the next decade. The charger is being developed in partnership with the CEA and will be integrated directly into the vehicle, making it small and convenient for consumers to use. This technology is already being implemented by other car manufacturers such as Hyundai, Kia, and Ford.

30% Less Energy Loss

Renault is working on a new internal 22 kW three-phase charger that aims to reduce charging time and energy loss during charging by 30%. The technology utilizes semi-conductors like Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) which are part of the “Large Gap” class and help to reduce heating during the conversion process.

Currently, without these types of semi-conductors, energy loss globally amounts to around 20% for domestic terminals. This not only increases the charging time but also inflates the electric vehicle’s share on the domestic energy bill.

Renault is currently one of the companies that has a high energy loss percentage. However, it is expected that this technology will take about ten years to be implemented in Renault’s vehicle range, therefore the 4L and the electric R5 presented at the last Paris Motor Show will not have this bidirectional compact charger.


How does vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology benefit electric vehicle owners?

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology benefits electric vehicle owners by allowing them to charge their cars during periods of low energy demand and potentially sell excess energy back to the grid during periods of high demand. This can lead to cost savings on energy bills, as well as providing a source of income for EV owners. Additionally, V2G technology can contribute to a more efficient and stable power grid, indirectly benefiting electric vehicle owners.

Can V2G technology be retrofitted to existing electric vehicles?

In some cases, V2G technology can be retrofitted to existing electric vehicles, but it depends on the vehicle’s specific capabilities and compatibility with the V2G charging equipment. Some manufacturers may offer retrofit kits, while others may require a new vehicle purchase to access V2G capabilities. It’s important to consult with your vehicle’s manufacturer to determine the feasibility and costs associated with retrofitting V2G technology.

How does V2G technology impact the lifespan of an electric vehicle’s battery?

The impact of V2G technology on the lifespan of an electric vehicle’s battery is still an area of ongoing research. While charging and discharging a battery can lead to degradation over time, some studies suggest that the additional cycles associated with V2G might not significantly impact the overall lifespan of the battery. However, this may vary depending on factors such as battery technology, usage patterns, and charging infrastructure.

Are there any incentives for electric vehicle owners to participate in V2G programs?

Incentives for electric vehicle owners to participate in V2G programs vary depending on the country, region, or local utility company. Some programs may offer financial incentives, such as reduced energy bills or payments for energy supplied back to the grid.
Other incentives could include access to preferential charging rates or the ability to use V2G technology to power a home during a power outage. It’s essential to research available V2G programs in your area to understand the specific incentives available.

How does Renault’s bidirectional charger compare to other V2G chargers on the market?

Renault’s bidirectional charger, developed in partnership with the CEA, aims to be compact and integrated directly into the vehicle. This design differs from some other V2G chargers on the market, which may require separate charging equipment or be bulkier in size.
Renault’s charger also focuses on reducing energy loss during charging by 30% using advanced semiconductors, which could lead to faster charging times and lower energy bills for electric vehicle owners. However, it’s important to note that this technology is still under development and may take several years to become widely available in Renault’s vehicle lineup.