23 Sep 21

Utrecht trials 100 V2G solar-powered cars with Sion

The Dutch city of Utrecht is launching a large scale trial of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology with a new fleet of 100 Sion electric cars made by Sono Motors.

The Sion features 248 solar cells, integrated into the body of the car itself, so it can generate its own power. Sono Motors says this self-generation adds an average of 112km of range per week to the car’s 54kWh battery, extending its range to up to 305km per charge.

The energy stored in the battery can also power other electronic devices (up to 3.7 kW) or even electric vehicles (up to 11 kW), as well as returning electricity to the home or grid via the on-board bidirectional charger (up to 11 kW).

V2G technology, which allows power to flow both from the grid to a vehicle and back from the vehicle to the grid, has been on the backburner recently due to compatibility issues. Bidirectional supply is currently only possible via the CHAdeMO charging standard, used by Nissan, although last summer even Nissan announced that it was switching to the more popular and widespread CCS charging standard. CCS is not expected to have a V2G facility until 2025 at the earliest.

Utrecht is installing 500 bidirectional public chargers, and if all 100 Sions were plugged in simultaneously they would be able to deliver 1.1megawatts of power back to the grid.

The fleet of cars will be run by the car sharing consortium We Drive Solar, which has similar EV sharing programmes in the pipeline with Hyundai and Renault.

Jona Christians, Sono Motors’ CEO and co-founder, said: “This is the perfect project for Sono Motors to further our vision of a world free from fossil fuels as it is a clear demonstration that electric vehicles can support the transition of the energy sector as a whole.”

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Image: Sono Motors

Authored by: Jonathan Manning