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Groupe Renault unveils France's first Smart Island on Belle-Île-En-Mer

September 21, 2018
  • Groupe Renault, Morbihan Energie, Les Cars Bleus and Enedis have joined forces to create FlexMob’île, an innovative programme aimed at accompanying the energy transition on the French island of Belle-Île-en-Mer.

  • This smart electric ecosystem is founded on three core activities, namely the sharing of electric vehicles, the stationary storage of solar energy and smart charging.

  • FlexMob’île sees Groupe Renault continue to develop the principle of smart islands, the first of which was Portugal’s Porto Santo.

 

Belle-Île-en-Mer (France), September 21, 2018 – In association with its partners the Belle-Île-en-Mer Community of Communes, Morbihan Energies, Les Cars Bleus and Enedis, Groupe Renault – a major player in the world of electric ecosystems – is delighted to unveil a brand new joint project known as FlexMob’île. The aim of this smart electric ecosystem is to facilitate the energy transition on the French island of Belle-Île-en-Mer which lies off the coast of southern Brittany. This initiative follows in the footsteps of the innovative Smart Fossil Free Island programme which has been operational since last February on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo in the Madeira archipelago.


For the next 24 months, Groupe Renault and its public and private partners will be developing a smart electric ecosystem that has been conceived to reduce the island's carbon footprint and increase its energy independence.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with the Belle-Île-en-Mer Community of Communes, Morbihan Energie, Les Cars Bleus and Enedis on this project which is unprecedented in France. Our goal is the same as with Porto Santo. That is to say the implementation of global solutions that meet local needs using both tried-and-tested and more recent technologies. It will be possible to carry over the Belle-Île-en-Mer system not just to other islands but also to cities and suburban areas," says Gilles Normand, SVP, Group Electric Vehicle Division.

Frédéric Le Gars, who presides the Belle-Île-en-Mer community of communes, added: "When Morbihan Energies CEO Jo Brohan explained the project to me, I knew that, along with Renault, we needed to be a key player in this innovative scheme to build a new sustainable mobility ecosystem."

Electric mobility and renewable energy to optimise energy consumption

From 2019, Belle-Île-en-Mer residents and visitors to the island will have access to a fleet of electric cars by means of a self-service hire programme featuring Renault ZOE and Kangoo Z.E. These vehicles will be powered thanks to a network of charging stations located close to the island's main attractions.


This new carsharing service will take advantage of surplus energy produced by solar panels installed on the roofs of the island’s main public buildings. "The smart charging system will let us activate electric car charging whenever a building produces more energy than it actually needs," explained Mr Normand. For instance, solar panels on the school's rooftop provide heat and lighting for classrooms during the week, while the energy produced at weekends or during school holidays will be used to charge the cars.

 

The energy transition boosts the local economy

By promoting the use of locally-produced renewable energy, FlexMob’île will offer the island’s economic stakeholders enhanced flexibility while at the same time promising substantial savings.


For example, Groupe Renault plans to provide second-life electric car batteries for the island's largest holiday residences facility. These batteries will be used to store energy produced during the day by solar panels for use in the evening, chiefly to heat the bungalows. This should allow the centre to extend its season which until now has been restricted by central heating costs.

 


More information about Renault’s commitment to electric mobility: EasyElectricLife

 

About Groupe Renault

Groupe Renault has been making cars since 1898. Today it is an international, multi-brand group combining the Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors, Alpine and LADA brands. In 2017, it sold close to 3.76 million vehicles through 12,700 outlets in 134 countries. Groupe Renault employs more than 180,000 people and operates 36 manufacturing facilities worldwide.  To address the major technological challenges of the future and pursue profitable growth, Renault focuses on international development. It is harnessing complementary coverage across its five brands; electric vehicles; and its unique alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi. With its new Formula 1 team, Renault is active in motorsport as a powerful force behind innovation, image and brand recognition.

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