Utrecht wins Fully Charged CITIES award 2021

Utrecht actively supports progressive initiatives and innovations with the aim of becoming completely climate neutral by 2030.

14 March 2022 5 minutes

By collaborating with stakeholders, the municipality is successfully navigating its way to building a flourishing, green city. All this hard work is now paying off as Utrecht has been rewarded with a Fully Charged CITIES award, courtesy of the renowned online platform Fully Charged – the world’s leading clean energy and electric vehicle channel with an audience of more than 2.2 million viewers worldwide.

Fully Charged CITIES recognises those who are committed to eradicating air pollution, creating smarter, more habitable urban environments and inspiring other cities to pursue these goals. The programme attracts entries from almost every continent, showcasing a global drive for sustainable change.

How Utrecht excels 

The panel of judges comprised journalists, scientists and experts on clean energy and sustainability, who were all impressed by Utrecht’s gas grid phase out. Today, a third of the city is no longer dependent on natural gas. Other accomplishments noted by the panel were the municipality’s strong ecological vision combined with specific technological and climate goals. As Utrecht excels in the deployment of clean energy and zero-emission transport, the panel acknowledged Utrecht as a hotspot for healthy urban living in Europe.

Becoming fully bidirectional

One of Utrecht’s goals is to become the world’s first bidirectional city by 2030. Thanks to leading organisations, such as We Drive Solar and Smart Solar Charging, the city is well on its way. We Drive Solar stores locally generated solar energy in shared electric cars via a smart bidirectional charging and storage system called vehicle to grid (V2G).

So far, 500 bidirectional charging stations have been installed. The ISO 15118 bidirectional protocol is set to be implemented in the near future, making bidirectional energy exchange possible for electric cars. To scale up this technology, We Drive Solar and the municipality have partnered with Hyundai to provide the first 150 bidirectional IONIQ 5 cars in 2022.

Leading cycling city

Utrecht is also known for being the best city for cycling in the world. It has the world’s largest bicycle car park as well as many priority cycling paths. The coming years will see additional investments in a green environment with new cycling and walking routes, further reducing carbon emissions.

The Fully Charged platform dedicated three episodes to Utrecht, broadcast in 2021. The first episode included the award presentation as well as a deep dive into Utrecht as a cycling city. Subsequent episodes explored the city’s bidirectional charging systems and carsharing initiatives in new housing projects.

Check out the first episode below. 

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