Since launching their collaboration last fall to make electric vehicles mainstream in France, Renault and power company EDF have made significant progress. One of the issues that must be overcome for widespread EV adoption is how to bill drivers for the electricity used to charge their vehicles. The concept of offering free charging to EV drivers is fine for encouraging near term adoption, but isn't a sustainable long term strategy.
At some point, someone has to pay for the electricity used to charge cars and that means the cars on the grid need to be identified. Like automakers and utilities around the world, Renault and EDF have been working on the issue of two-way communications between the vehicle and grid. The EDF-Renault partnership has developed a secure two-way system that will operate over the power-lines that charge the vehicle. Running the communications over the same wires that provide power means that additional wires and terminals won't need to be added to the charging connector. The soon-to-be-standardized SAE J1772 charging connector incorporates a similar power line communications concept, but it's not clear at this point if it is common with what Renault and EDF have agreed to.
Press release June 22, 2009
Renault and EDF strengthen collaboration on zero-emission electric vehicle
Paris, June 22, 2009 - Renault and EDF today announced the strengthening of their collaboration on zero-emission electric vehicles.
Following the agreement signed on October 9, 2008 by Pierre Gadonneix, President and CEO of EDF, and Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Renault, the two partners have moved on to a new phase in the development of an electric vehicle by 2011.
EDF and Renault today signed an agreement on a recharge system enabling communication between recharge terminals and electric vehicles, called "power line communication" (PLC). This EDF-developed technology ensures the secure exchange of data between recharge terminal and vehicle, including vehicle identification and billing details. Renault will carry out integration tests of this system with its future vehicles. This is a concrete step forward that will
contribute to the development of the electric vehicle market in France.