Flow, a four-year project that forms part of the 2Zero partnership (“Towards zero emission road transport”), funded under the Horizon Europe program with a total budget of €9.8 million, was launched in Barcelona on July 5, 2022. With the support of ARERA (the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment), which will fulfil an advisory role, Flow will be led by a consortium of 30 European and international companies, research centers, and organizations working in the field of electric mobility, all coordinated by the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC). The consortium, via a multi-sectoral collaborative approach, brings together key stakeholders from across the European landscape that are committed to improving electric mobility and its integration with the associated infrastructure. The funding was obtained thanks to the proposed innovative developments and positive benefits for the energy system, which include:
Electrification of consumption
Increase in the flexible resources available
Digitalization of sustainable mobility
Increase in the penetration of renewable sources
Reduction in noise pollution
Improved air quality in urban areas.
One of the pilot projects, which are necessary for testing such solutions, will be carried out in Rome. In this case, the large-scale provision of flexibility services from electric vehicles will be tested.
Evolved technologies such as “Smart Charging” and “Vehicle-to-Grid” i.e. smart, two-way charging systems serving the grids, will then be integrated during the testing phase to improve their flexibility and safety. This phase will also identify the benefits of “Vehicle-to-X” for the end customer and find ways to ensure an accessible customer experience at every stage of the charging process. With “Vehicle-to-X,” vehicles can smartly store and exchange energy. With respect to V2G, for example, any energy charged to the battery of a vehicle parked during the middle of the day can later be fed back to the grid, enabling the owner to earn money in the process.
This work is necessary to create a simpler future for all electric vehicle users, but also to bring about better coordination between service providers: from distribution system operators to charging point operators, mobility service providers, infrastructure manufacturers, right through to the end users, all these players will benefit from the Flow project and will be ready for the mass take-up of electric vehicles. This project also came about as an appropriate response to the need, brought about by the increasingly widespread adoption of electric vehicles, to identify innovative grid solutions based on charging flexibility.
Enel X Way operates approximately 350,000 charging points throughout the world, from Europe to America, and its main focus is on developing electric mobility. Becoming involved in this collaborative project, which is one of the largest and most ambitious consortia ever created in the field of electric mobility and electrification, is therefore a natural and necessary step. It entails working together with other major players within the e-mobility landscape towards a greener, more sustainable Europe with a better charging infrastructure that can work in synergy with a power grid that’s there to support them and is capable of handling a growing number of electric vehicles. Enel X Way will act as a provider for the charging infrastructure and smart charging and aggregator platforms, and will coordinate, along with Endesa X Way in Spain, the “Implementation and evaluation in large-scale demonstration cases” work package, which includes the Italian, Spanish and Danish demos. It will also be involved in the design, implementation, verification and validation of the project's Rome demo, while Endesa X Way will contribute to the implementation of the Spanish demo on the island of Menorca.
Enel X Way, an Enel Group company entirely dedicated to electric mobility, and Endesa X Way, the Group's Spanish electric mobility company, both of which are providers of charging infrastructure and smart charging and aggregator platforms, will not be the only organizations involved in the Enel Group project. Enel Grids will provide its experience as the world's largest private electricity distribution operator in terms of the number of end users, and will demonstrate the integration of the system at the Enel Flexibility Labs, using smart grid technologies provided by its subsidiary, Gridspertise.
Enel X, the Enel Group company dedicated to delivering advanced energy efficiency and supply solutions, will bring its flexibility solutions to the Italian demo, using its platform for aggregation and market access, and enabling electric vehicles connected to charging points to provide flexibility services to the grid.