Project FLOW - Institut ACS

 

Powerful European team empowers users for widespread adoption of electromobility

  • A strong consortium is joining forces to drive the uptake of electric vehicles in Europe.
  • The team includes 30 European companies, research institutions and associations from 9 different countries.
  • Massive market penetration of electric vehicles requires innovative grid solutions that enable flexible charging.
  • Smart charging solutions provide efficient energy exchange between vehicles, buildings and the grid, mitigating grid constraints and promoting renewable energy integration.

Barcelona, July 5, 2022 Today, a large consortium of 30 European companies is meeting in Barcelona to launch the FLOW project. The aim of this project is to promote an electromobility concept that is both suitable for the end user and offers benefits for the energy system across Europe. The initiative will test, validate and further develop the so-called Vehicle-to-X to enable energy exchange between electric vehicles, buildings and the grid. The EU Parliament's new decision to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars from 2035 has reaffirmed FLOW's objective to provide a solid foundation for the upcoming mass deployment of electric vehicles.

According to the International Energy Agency, energy demand for electric vehicles will account for up to 6.5% of Europe's final electricity consumption by 2030, corresponding to electricity sales of almost €60 billion per year. However, the deployment of electric mobility in urban and rural areas faces several challenges, such as access to appropriate charging infrastructure or users' habits regarding combustion engines. The project will focus on addressing the main obstacles that drivers face when charging and using electric vehicles and will provide solutions to these challenges.

Cristina Corchero, the coordinator of the consortium, explains "The FLOW project represents a unique opportunity to better understand the potential of energy flexibility in the case of higher market penetration of electric mobility". She further emphasizes "This is made possible by joining forces of key players from the electric and mobility sectors."

Within FLOW, solutions will be developed for all stakeholders involved in the mass development of electric vehicles, i.e. grid operators, charging point operators, mobility service providers, infrastructure manufacturers and end users. The main objective is to validate and quantify the benefits provided by electric vehicle charging flexibility, thereby reducing grid problems and supporting decarbonization in the energy sector.

The impact on different energy systems will be studied at five demonstration sites: in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Denmark and Spain.

The project is led by the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) and consists of a multidisciplinary team including academic partners, small, medium and large companies from the energy and mobility sectors, and major European industry associations.

Electric vehicles will be "game changers" when vehicle-to-X opportunities are fully exploited. Testing energy flows and driving patterns of real users in real networks is key to achieving this goal. The results of this flagship project will inform policy and lead to "best practices."

FLOW aims to make electric mobility the most important element in European transport.

More about the FLOW project

FLOW is a 4-year project within the 2Zero partnership ('Towards zero emission road transport'). It is funded by the Horizon Europe framework program with a total budget of about €10 million. The consortium brings together prominent European players working on electromobility as part of a multisectoral cooperation approach. Participants include small and medium-sized companies in charging infrastructure (Heliox), innovation management (R2M Solution), and charging station operation and aggregation services (Spirii), as well as large companies with established market positions that include innovative solutions in their portfolios. This group includes a global infrastructure and grid operator (Enel Grids), distribution grid operators (Areti, e-distribución and e-distribuzione), a transmission grid operator (Terna Spa), an energy management company (Eaton), several charging infrastructure technology providers, charging station operators, mobility service providers and smart charging service providers (Enel X Way, Endesa X Way), aggregators (Enel X, Acea Energia), an IT company (Engineering) and an automotive manufacturer (BMW).

The consortium has strong academic participation from research institutions and universities that will focus on solutions for optimal configuration, control and operation of electric vehicle chargers (IREC, RSE, RWTH Aachen University), to support interoperability, protocol harmonization and standardization (DTU, Maynooth University), for investment planning and multi-criteria evaluation (University College Dublin, TU Delft), and for user engagement and satisfaction (TU Chemnitz). The consortium leverages the exceptional networks of industry associations in the fields of electromobility (AVERE) and power grids (E.DSO).

RWTH Aachen University is one of the German partners in the project. The RWTH team's goal is to develop algorithms that take into account the complementary needs between different vehicle-to-X-capable charging clusters and regulate operations accordingly. For this purpose, the SOGNO platform (developed by the team of Prof. Antonello Monti), which was awarded the Innovation Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, will be equipped with new functionalities.

FLOW is funded by the European Union (grant agreement no. 101056730). However, the views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

  Funded by the European Union