Renault Tests Vehicle-to-Grid Energy Scheme

Renault SA is launching a pilot program that will allow electric vehicles to provide energy back to the grid.

The carmaker will use 15 specially equipped versions of its Zoe electric supermini car to test the scheme this year in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland. Initial tests begin this week in Utrecht, Netherlands, and the Portuguese island of Porto Santo.

Renault says the bi-directional charging technology could be ready for installation on customer vehicles as early as next year. Such vehicle-to-grid systems would enable EV owners to store and sell excess energy to utility companies during peak demand times.

Alliance partner Nissan Motor Co. has been testing vehicle-to-grid systems for several years. Renault also is developing a program to turn used EV batteries into stationary energy storage systems to supplement local electric grids.