October 17, 2016 -- By turning itself into one huge Living Lab for Smart Charging of electric vehicles, the Netherlands are fast becoming the international frontrunner for smart charging EV's, using them to store peak power production of solar and wind. Already 325 municipalities (including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague) have joined the Dutch Living Lab Smart Charging representing 80 percent of all public charging stations. It's also supported by the Dutch government.
Adding to this some large players on private and semi-private charging stations such as The New Motion and EV-Box have joined. Very soon all Dutch charging stations will be open for tests and research projects.
The Living Lab Smart Charging is an open platform where companies (from multinationals to small tech start-ups, both national and international), universities, local and regional governments and grid operators cooperate. They operate an ambitious three step program:
Step 1. Make as many charging stations ready for Smart Charging. A huge upgrade operation is now taking place across the country making sure the existing charging stations will be able to technically facilitate Smart Charging. All new stations already are Smart Charging Ready, such as the 2.500 new charging points being rolled out by the Southern provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg.
Step 2. Use those innovative stations for research and testing of Smart Charging. Eg. there's an App (by Jedlix) that allows it's users to earn money by using technology to charge the car in the middle of the night when the wind is still producing power but there is little demand for it. In Utrecht 'vehicle to grid' is being tested together with Renault: charging the electric car with solar panels and using it as storage to put power back into the grid when the sun is no longer shining.
Step 3. Putting all innovation, tests and research findings into international standards so everyone can benefit from the Dutch experience with Smart Charging.
The ultimate goal of the Dutch Living Lab Smart Charging: all electric cars driving on the power of the sun and the wind. The idea of the Living Lab Smart Charging is explained in this short animation.