Utrecht becomes the first bidirectional region in the world

Utrecht becomes the first bidirectional region in the world thanks to the new collaboration between Hyundai and We Drive Solar.

14 March 2022 10 minutes

In the presence of State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven, Alderman Eelco Eerenberg and Representative Huib van Essen, Hyundai signed an agreement this morning with strategic partners to make Utrecht the first region in the world with a bidirectional ecosystem. In this ecosystem, the batteries of shared electric cars are used to store sustainable energy on a large scale.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was present when the first bidirectional charging station was commissioned in Utrecht two years ago. Since then, almost 500 public charging stations have popped up in the city and region of Utrecht. Electric cars can get charged with sustainable energy at these charging stations and deliver energy back to the grid. Utrecht is the first city and region with a large network of bidirectional charging stations.

Because of the knowledge and the large charging network in Utrecht, Hyundai chose to launch their first car with bidirectional charging technology in this city. The IONIQ 5 will be deployed on a large scale in this city throughout the upcoming years.

The ambition of We Drive Solar and her partners is to realise the energy- and mobility system of the future in the city and region, which includes: hundreds of shared electric cars that provide clean air, less cars on the road, a buffer for large scale application of solar and wind energy in the region.

 

 

Utrecht aims to become the first bidirectional city and region of the world. This is made possible by the unique collaboration with different parties in the We Drive Solar consortium:

  • ElaadNL for standardization and embedding the correct protocols.
  • Last Mile Solutions for the software-mediated control of charging stations.
  • Nieuwe Weme and Siers for the production and placement of charging stations.
  • Insurance company a.s.r. for the realization of the largest bidirectional charging plaza.
  • Utrecht Sustainability Institute for the scientific validation of the ecosystem.
  • Stedin for the integration of bidirectional charging into the electricity grid.
  • Developers MRP and Ballast Nedam Development for the large scale application of bidirectional shared cars in the newly developed healthy and green urban district Cartesius.
  • Koolen Industries for the considerable scale-up of the number of bidirectional shared cars.
  • GoodMoovs for coupling carsharing reservations with bidirectional charging.
  • The city and region of Utrecht by installing public bidirectional charging infrastructure.

Hyundai and We Drive Solar plan to test bidirectional charging at charging stations throughout Utrecht and integrate the carsharing system of We Drive Solar before the summer. After that, a large number of IONIQ 5 cars will be launched. By early 2022, the number of cars are scaled up to 150 bidirectional shared cars in Utrecht.

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