Local Gov't et al Test 'EV Sharing' Using Renewable Energy

2020/03/26 16:28
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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The ceremony to celebrate the launch of the eemo Car Sharing service (source: Rexev)
A smartphone application can be used to check the ratio of renewable energy and renewable energy-based power plants. (source: Rexev)

Odawara City (Kanagawa Prefecture), Rexev Inc (Toshima-ku, Tokyo) and Shonan Power Co Ltd started trial operation of a car-sharing service using EVs (electric vehicles) and energy management technology March 16, 2020.

The service, "eemo Car Sharing," was adopted for the "Project to Establish Carbon-free Local Traffic Model Among Local-circulation Symbiotic Community Creation Projects Based on Innovations for Decarbonization" of Japan's Ministry of the Environment in September 2019. And they have developed systems and installed EV (charging) stations.

On the same day, Kenichi Kato, mayor of Odawara City, had a ceremony and actually used the eemo Car Sharing service at Odawara City Hall.

EV stations were set up in six locations including Odawara City Hall, and 14 units of Nissan Motor Co Ltd's "Leaf" EV are used for the test. Specifically, "Model X," a new model of the Leaf with a battery capacity of 40kWh, was employed.

A smartphone application developed by Rexev is used to unlock the EVs. During the trial operation, the EVs cannot be used by general citizens.

Based on the policy of using renewable energy-derived electricity generated in Odawara and surrounding regions as much as possible to charge EVs, it will become possible to check the ratio of renewable energy (to the electricity used to charge EVs) and the renewable energy-based power plant that generates the electricity as much as possible.

Odawara City, Rexev and Shonan Power will promote the use of renewable energy in cooperation with local renewable energy-based power producers such as Houtoku Energy and Shonan Power.

Also, the storage batteries of EVs not in use are used for energy management in the aim of promoting the efficient use of energy. The use of EVs as an emergency power source at the time of disaster will be discussed in detail in cooperation with Odawara City to contribute to strengthening local anti-disaster measures.

The trial operation is scheduled to continue until May 31, 2020. The number of EVs is planned to be increased to 50, and they will be available to general citizens in June 2020. Odawara City and adjoining Hakone-machi (town) are among the most popular tourist resorts in Japan. And Odawara City, Rexev and Shonan Power aim to realize "EV Eco Tourism" by installing EV stations at hotels, etc and using them as a means of transportation for guests.