A strong European team empowers users for widespread electric mobility uptake

● A powerful consortium joins forces to extend the penetration of electric vehicle transport in Europe

● The team involves 30 European companies, research organisations and associations from 9 different countries, and is led by IREC (Spain)

● Massive penetration of electric vehicles requires innovative grid solutions based on charging flexibility

● Smart charging solutions will provide efficient exchange of energy with vehicles, buildings and the grid, allowing for the alleviation of grid constraints alongside fostering renewable penetration

Barcelona, 5 July 2022. Today, a large consortium formed by 30 European entities gathers in Barcelona to kick-start the FLOW project, aimed at promoting a concept of electric mobility suited for the final user, while providing benefits to the energy system across Europe. The initiative will test, validate and enhance the so-called Vehicle-to-X, where energy will be exchanged among vehicles, buildings and the grid. While the EU Parliament voted to ban new sales of fossil fueled cars by 2035, FLOW will give a solid basis to enhance the upcoming mass penetration of electric vehicle transportation.

According to the International Energy Agency, power demand for electric vehicles is predicted to account for up to 6.5% of European final electricity consumption by 2030, with almost 60 billion € per year in electricity sales. However, the implementation of electric mobility in urban and rural sectors faces several challenges, such as the accessibility to suitable charging infrastructure, or how current users are still used to combustion vehicles. The project will focus on solving the main obstacles faced by drivers during the charging and utilisation of electric vehicles and will provide solutions and alternatives for those challenges.

Cristina Corchero, coordinator of the consortium, explains that “The FLOW project represents a unique opportunity to better understand the potential of energy flexibility when we achieve a massive penetration of electric vehicles”. She highlights that “This will be possible thanks to the joined forces from key players from both the electrical and the mobility sectors”.

The solutions developed within FLOW will provide answers for the upcoming mass deployment of electric vehicles to all actors involved, ranging from power distribution system operators, charging point operators, mobility service providers, infrastructure manufacturers to final users. The main aim is to validate and quantify the benefits associated with electric vehicle charging flexibility, alleviating grid problems, in order to achieve energy decarbonisation while transitioning to a sustainable mobility model.

A total of 5 demonstration sites will be implemented to determine the impact on different energy systems in Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Denmark and Spain.

The project is led by the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) and is formed by a multidisciplinary team, involving academic partners, small, medium and large enterprises from the energy and mobility sector and large European industry associations.

Distribution System Operators (DSOs) are in the driver’s seat of the e-mobility development as they connect the charging points to the grid. The DSOs will use electric vehicles (EVs) charging to make the grid smarter and to utilise all the flexibility and storage options across the distribution network. As a partner of the project, E.DSO will draw on FLOW learnings and results to manage the oncoming mass penetration of EVs, and push for the accelerated deployment of smart charging infrastructure.

Electric vehicles will be game changers when the full capabilities to exchange electricity with the grid are deployed. Testing energy flows and driving patterns of real users on real grids is key to reach this goal and the outcomes of this pioneering project will feed policies and draw best practices.

FLOW has the ultimate goal to scale up electric mobility as the key driver of European transport.

More about the FLOW project

FLOW is a 4-year long project framed in the 2Zero partnership (‘Towards zero emission road transport’). It is funded under the Horizon Europe framework programme, with a total budget of about 10M€. The consortium brings together prominent European actors working with electric mobility from a multisectoral collaborative approach. The team involves several companies engaged in the mobility transition. Starting with innovative small and medium enterprises, leaders in the field of charging infrastructure (Heliox), exploitation and innovation management (R2M Solution) and charge point operator and aggregator services (Spirii). The team also involves large enterprises with established market positions to include cutting-edge solutions in their portfolios. This group encompasses a global infrastructure and networks operator (Enel Grids), distribution system operators (Areti, e-distribución and e-distribuzione), a transmission system operator (Terna Spa), a power management company (Eaton), several charging infrastructure technology providers, charging point operators, mobility service providers, and smart charging service providers (Enel X Way, Endesa X Way), aggregators  (Enel X, Acea Energia), an information and communication technology company (Engineering Ingegneria Informatica) and an emblematic car manufacturer (BMW). 

The consortium has a strong academic participation from research centres and universities that will focus on solutions for optimal configuration, control and operation of electric vehicle chargers (IREC, RSE, RWTH Aachen University), enabling them to provide flexibility services to the grid, interoperability and harmonisation of protocols and standardisation (DTU, Maynooth University), investment planning and multi-criteria assessment (University College Dublin, TU Delft), and user engagement and satisfaction (TU Chemnitz).
The consortium leverages the extraordinary networks of industry associations in electromobility (AVERE) and the electricity grid (E.DSO) perspectives.

FLOW is funded by the European Union (grant agreement n. 101056730).

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Press media contact

Head of E.DSO Project Team: Ondřej Černý

Mail: ondrej.cerny@edsoforsmartgrids.eu

Phone: +32 475 151 230

E.DSO Representative in FLOW: Selene Liverani

Mail: selene.liverani@edsoforsmartgrids.eu

Phone: +32 470 40 18 05