The challenge of recharging electric vehicles

Plugging in electric vehicles at home will become the primary method of recharging personal vehicles in the coming years.

In the case of apartment buildings, recharging in residential parking structures poses two specific problems:

  • The means of connecting electric vehicle charging stations (ECS) to the public electricity distribution networks;
  • Distributing and billing for the energy consumption related to recharging electric vehicles.

The project BienVEnu seeks to develop an all-in-one technical and commercial solution for intelligently recharging electric vehicles in apartment complexes. Furthermore, from a societal point of view, the project aims to develop a car-sharing service proposal, allowing residents to discover the advantages of electric vehicles.

BienVEnu is a demonstrator, led by Enedis, bringing together a public/private partnership of eight actors, co-financed by the Investing in the Future Program operated by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) within the domain of Smart Electricity Networks.

An all-in-one solution

Since October 2015, Wavestone has been working with Enedis and its partners to manage the BienVEnu project:

⁄    Leading the monthly Strategic Steering and Operational Committees: preparing presentation materials, co-leading meetings with Enedis and writing reports and records of decisions;

⁄    Implementing and updating the project’s management tools: strategic risks, deliverables and milestones, plans of action and statistics on dissemination activities;

⁄    Preparing technical and financial reports for ADEME: collecting and consolidating partner contributions, writing chapters related to project oversight, proofreading and advising in order to submit documents that that meet ADEME’s standards and expectations;

⁄    Preparing closures for the project’s Key Steps: preparation, in collaboration with partners, and submission of reports and deliverables due at every Key Step;

⁄    Leading project reviews with ADEME: preparing presentation materials, co-leading reviews with Enedis, writing reports, monitoring ADEME’s requests to complete each Key Step and making interim and final payments;

⁄    Overseeing communication activities: co-managing the project’s Twitter account with Enedis, updating the project’s website and monitoring different publications and participation at events in order to communicate about the project;

⁄    Interfacing with ADEME: regular meetings to provide visibility on the project’s progress and interfacing between the partners and ADEME.

First positive results

The Wavestone teams’ strong support in coordinating BienVEnu has allowed us to achieve our expected results.

BienVEnu has enabled the development of an innovative solution for recharging electric vehicles in apartment complexes, based on a clustered recharge infrastructure (multiple charging points grouped together) and on the installation of a bus cable that spans the length of the parking lot and allows new charging points to easily be added.

The proposed recharging is supported by an intelligent algorithm, developed for this project, and allows for the optimization of the power necessary for all of the parking structure’s charging points, but also factors in a signal for the maximum power in order to limit the impact of charging electric vehicles using a public electricity distribution network.

A commercial offer was designed and distributed to property owners and union councils of joint-ownership properties.

The solution was rolled out in 10 apartment buildings in the Paris metropolitan area: 84 charging points were installed, 16 of which were used to offer car-sharing services to residents.

From a broader market growth perspective, a white paper with recommendations for installing a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in apartment buildings was written that presents all existing solutions, tested or not, that make up the BienVEnu project.