Elli, the Volkswagen subsidiary that manages all activities related to charging and energy for the Group in Europe, the Elia Group and its start-up re.alto signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today in Berlin. The MoU underscores the signatories’ shared vision of integrating electric cars into the electricity system. Over the next few years, the partners will identify possible barriers to EV integration and explore how to showcase its benefits, for example by developing demonstrators.
The signatories Elli, Elia and re.alto encourage that the increasing amount of EVs can create tremendous opportunities to counteract climate change in the coming decade: The batteries of electric vehicles can help stabilise grids as the share of volatile, renewable energies rises. Consumers will be able to charge their EVs when there are high amounts of affordable renewable energy in the system and inject the electricity stored in their EVs back into the grid when it needs it most. This would enable consumers to play an active part in the energy transition.
Elke Temme, the CEO of Elli (Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH) and Senior Vice President of Charging & Energy at Volkswagen AG, said: “An essential key to achieving climate neutrality lies in linking of the energy and mobility sectors. Using the electric vehicle battery as a mobile power bank delivers a triple benefit: Firstly, the climate benefits as renewable energy can be stored and therefore be used more efficiently; secondly, the electric grid benefits, as the car can contribute toward grid stability, and thirdly, the customer can earn additional revenue with vehicle-to-grid services. To explore the benefits of this consumer-centric approach, this cooperation with Elia Group is crucial for us.”
Chris Peeters, the CEO of the Elia Group, added: “The rapid rise in electric vehicles is reinforcing the need for cooperation between the electricity and mobility sectors. We want to enable the increasing number of EV users to charge their EVs while keeping the electricity system in balance. As a next step, the batteries of these cars will also be able to be used in such a way that they will contribute to the overall levels of energy comfort experienced by end users. Elli shares the same vision of the future regarding electric mobility as us and also has a strong focus on digital innovations. In the context of sector convergence, we are therefore the ideal partners to develop digital consumer services together.”
In their MoU, Elli, the Elia Group and re.alto agreed on joint activities that they would undertake to achieve their shared goal of highlighting the benefits of integrating e-vehicles into the electricity system. The companies’ work will focus on four areas:
- Price signals/incentives: exploration into ways that price signals will enable and incentivise e-vehicle owners to use their assets as decentralised storage capacity through vehicle-to-grid technology and thus support the power system.
- Market design: exploration of how to give consumers the freedom to choose their energy supplier, no matter where they have travelled. This will also involve working on removing barriers that are preventing EV fleets and consumers from choosing their suppliers, smart charging service providers and aggregators at charging poles.
- Trusted data: ensuring that e-vehicle data is recognised as reliable and secure and can be used by the power system.
- Data security and safe connectivity: exploration of mechanisms that allow the safe transmission of data and defining roles and responsibilities related to steering the charging behaviour of e-vehicles whilst ensuring connectivity remains safe and secure.
Each partner will contribute its own expertise to the work on the four fields. Elli will share its experience as a provider of charging infrastructure, mobility services, flexibility services and electricity provider. The know-how of the Elia Group centres on the challenges and opportunities that the energy transition is creating for the electricity system. re.alto – which was established by the Elia Group in 2019 – has an extensive understanding of digital marketplaces and the connection of energy data as well as of digital products for application programming interfaces.
The signing of the memorandum of understanding also strengthens and expands the relationship between 50Hertz (the German subsidiary of the Elia Group) and Elli. This relationship was initiated in 2020 and has already conducted projects related to operating reserve markets.
Charging and energy are a promising new business area for the Volkswagen Group
The Volkswagen Group has made charging and energy a part of its core business in its NEW AUTO strategy. With a workforce of some 250 employees, Elli takes care of the things that matter to customers at the touchpoints between energy and mobility. Elli is the Volkswagen Group brand that offers a wide portfolio of energy and charging solutions in Europe and also acts as a provider of mobile services. Its current range of products includes charging solutions for private customers and companies – from the customers’ own wallboxes and the flexible quick-charging station Flexpole to charging services and innovative and smart green-power rates. Elli’s aim is to make the benefits of the shift to green energy accessible to everyone – easy and hassle-free. The company intends to offer a seamless and holistic energy and charging experience for all electric car drivers and fleet managers. Elli was founded in 2018 and has offices in Berlin, Wolfsburg and Munich.