Renault and EEM launched the ‘Smart Island’ project, that will give EV batteries a sweet second life on the Madeira archipelago. The French manufacturer is cooperating with utility Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira to convert Porto Santo island into a smart grid. On a small scale first.
The government of Madeira will roll out an programme in Porto Santo, known as Sustainable Porto Santo – Smart Fossil Free Island. The utility EEM is in charge of the programme’s energy and electric mobility and has chosen Renault as its partner for electric mobility solutions.
The project, which is scheduled to last for 18 months, will see 20 electric vehicles, namely 14 Renault Zoe and 6 Kangoo Z.E., being delivered to voluteers that are asked to use them on a daily basis. The EVs will be charged at 40 smart charging stations with electricity from renewables.
Essentially, EEM are probing into establishing a V2G system on the island with Renault also adding used EV batteries to store the energy from the solar and wind parks on the island. The French have some prior experience with battery recycling, but said that this is the first time they actually employ “second-life batteries in a local ecosystem” in real life.
The greater goal behind the initiative is also to manage to set up energy independence on the island within the time frame of the project, as well as to help facilitate the growth of alternative energy on the island. In an interview, Renault Electric Vehicle Director Eric Feunteun said: “[We want] to build a model that can be carried over to other islands and cities.”
Renault will be receiving support for the project from further companies, including Bouygues Energies et Services, The Mobility House, and ABB.