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“Being an energy specialist gives us credibility in electric mobility”

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Case study: energy giant EDF uses its experience to benefit its electric mobility clients

Few companies are as well-placed to develop electric mobility solutions as EDF. The France-based energy multinational has an intimate knowledge of all things electric, and a customer base big enough to translate that experience into innovative, market-leading solutions. “Electric mobility has always been close to our heart – and now more than ever”, says Isabel Montelescaut (pictured), Head of Electric Mobility at EDF.

The future is electric. That is the big takeaway from CAP2030, EDF's recently-published strategic plan to manage the transition away from fossil fuels. A small, but growing implementation of that strategy is providing EDF customers with solutions for electric mobility.

“Until recently, EDF's electric mobility subsidiary Sodetrel concentrated its efforts on installing recharging stations for local governments. Since CAP2030, we will now also be focusing on corporate clients and private consumers, assisting them with advice, charging infrastructure and specific offers in electric mobility”, says Isabel Montelescaut.

Can you give a specific example of EDF's involvement with electric mobility so far?

“A notable success story is Corri-Door. Corri-door is a project led by EDF with a consortium that includes Sodetrel, four manufacturers – Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen and BMW – and Paritech. This project is also co-financed by the European Commission. Together, we have installed 200 rapid-charge stations, spaced at 80 km along France's main traffic axes. At 50kW each, these stations can provide an 80% charge in 30 minutes. This is just one example of the multiple ways in which we will promote and develop electric mobility in the near future”.

How does your experience as an electricity generator benefit your electric mobility customers?

“One example of how EDF will put its experience to use is in installing private recharging station in garages of apartment buildings. We can provide secure power points and make sure the electricity used is charged directly to the customer”.

“Being specialist in energy generation, specifically electricity generation, means we have proven competences, and that gives us credibility. Just one example: we can offer a system that prioritises the recharging of an electric vehicle to the off-peak hours.  We are the only provider with the know-how to offer such a service”.

What are some of the areas in which you expect to direct your electric mobility efforts in the near future?

“French law states that cities with at least 250,000 inhabitants must have a certain share of clean buses by 2020 – that share rising to 100% by 2025. Electric buses will form a major part of that effort. EDF is already consulting with major bus manufacturers on the best way to implement this, by looking at requirements for numbers of buses and recharging stations – high-voltage stations, of course”.

And then there is the Advenir programme.

“Yes, this was approved by the government in February. Advenir funds about 50% of the cost of EV charging points, be they at private residences or in semi-public parking garages. This will provide a huge boost to the number of charging stations. The goal of the programme is about 6,000 charging points at private residences, and the same amount at collective, semi-public parking spaces”.

“The Law on the Right to Charge helps the EV drivers living in apartments: building managers can no longer refuse demands from the occupants for an electric charging station in the garage”.

Do you have a dedicated channel for private customers?

“At the beginning of this year, EDF established Sowee, a subsidiary aimed entirely at the private market. Its goal is to provide the market with offers related to domestic electricity consumption, including for the recharging of electric vehicles. This frees up Sodetrel as the EDF subsidiary for electric mobility that interfaces exclusively with the B2B market segment”.

Image: EDF

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 13:15Frank JacobsGreen and SafetyFrance
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