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21
Feb
2018

ENGIE is preparing the future of shared electric vehicles

PlugMyCar is the name of an internal study commissioned by ENGIE Fab with Tractebel ENGIE in Belgium to anticipate the development of electric mobility and its impact on our ways of traveling. Vincenzo Giordano, one of the joint authors of the study, explains that the numerical modeling used in the study is not based on “our vision of what will happen in 2030.” Instead, it posits a “disruptive scenario” which will make it possible to begin the process right away of preparing the future of sustainable mobility.

Among the hypotheses generated by the PlugMyCar study: an occupancy rate for vehicles rising from 1.2 to 3 passengers, several thousand charging stations, and 18,000 electric vehicles replacing 330,000 privately-owned cars in Brussels by 2030.

Easier journeys, better air quality

The starting-point of the PlugMyCar study was a basic question: what would be the consequence of shared electric vehicles coming into widespread use? Journeys would take half the time and cost 40% less. A considerable amount of space would be freed up by unneeded parking spaces, the number of which could be divided by six. There would be less congestion, fewer accidents and less noise. And, of course, air quality would be incomparably better.

Such a scenario would also be very beneficial in terms of electricity storage: when electric cars are not on the road and not being charged, they can support the electricity system by storing electricity. The theoretical storage capacity of one million electric vehicles would be up to 40,000 MWh – compared for example with 5,000 MWh for the Coo hydroelectric plant.

Looking far enough ahead to be able to start acting now

Already committed to electric mobility and “smart charging” solutions, ENGIE believes that shared electric vehicles could well be the disruption of tomorrow, at the crossroads of technological innovation – along the lines of drones, for example, which have spread faster than expected – and the development of collaborative models – along the lines of Airbnb.

“And then the whole point is to come back to the present to see what new business models can be developed,” continues Vincenzo Giordano.

Electric mobility is at the heart of the strategy of the ENGIE Group, which has acquired EV-Box, a world leader in charging stations. It is developing offers for smart charging which are based on algorithms for optimizing fleet management according to the quantity of electricity produced and consumed locally. CarPlug, developed by ENGIE Electrabel, is another innovative solution: it is a charging station that will charge an electric car 60% more quickly that a conventional electric socket.

These new technologies are backed up by specific targeted offers, such as the Drive and Drive Pro contracts in Belgium, which give the owners of electric vehicles access to green and local energy at a reduced price.

Meanwhile, ENGIE is working with local authorities and operators in Belgium to re-think their transport models, which notably entails developing fleets of electric vehicles. These initiatives form part of the worldwide Better Mobility Today program, designed by ENGIE to improve air quality, reduce traffic noise and congestion and optimize transit networks, in all parts of the world.

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