Renault recently ran a testing round of a new smart-charging system — by the name of The Mobility House — in Germany. The testing round involved 11 Renault ZOE owners (who were also employees of the French company) testing out the system at their places of residence in Germany.
“The Mobility House” smart-charging system works by automating electric vehicle charging schedules so that they line up with the times when electricity costs are lowest (or simply, lower).
Green Car Congress provides some more info on the news:
Once plugged in to a special charge station at the ZOE owner’s home, the car communicates its electricity needs via a Renault Global Data Center to TMH (The Mobility House), which schedules vehicle charging on the basis of energy cost data.
Electricity from the grid costs more during high demand periods and less when demand is low, so the system detects consumption peaks and stops charging until the cost falls. Fast charging then proceeds, at lower cost, until the car batteries are fully charged. This technology enables electric car owners to optimize their electricity expenses without the trouble of having to calculate peak and trough demand periods themselves. It marks the first stage in forthcoming development of “smart grids.”
The two companies are reportedly working together on other means of reducing EV charging costs as well. Specifics have of course not been totally revealed yet, but one would presume that the means (technologies?) would be complementary to the above-discussed system.