How is the electric vehicle contributing to the energy transition process? That’s the question at the heart of the ongoing experiment on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo where the ecosystem brings together electric vehicles, smart charging, vehicle-to-grid and stationary energy battery storage systems. The WWF, Groupe Renault’s partner for greater sustainable mobility, is looking for answers in the field. Pierre Cannet, the head of climate, energy and sustainable cities programs, explains.
Globally, the transport sector accounts for one fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. In France, it’s a third. In a context of ecological transition, it’s urgent to move away from a model that’s centered on the individual car and fossil fuels towards a mix of more controlled alternative transport solutions. In this sense, the electric vehicle, paired with the development of renewable energies and alternative mobility solutions (carpooling, car-sharing, multimodality), is an important part of the solution. For the WWF, it was logical to partner with Groupe Renault, pioneer and leader of the electric vehicle in Europe, with whom we share this vision.
Another key point is our alignment in regards to the Paris Agreement. With its commitment to reduce its GHG emissions, notably by 40% in cars by 2030 compared to 2010, Groupe Renault can therefore contribute to the objectives of keeping global warming below the 2°C mark.
Today responsible for two thirds of global CO2 emissions, cities will be home to 70% of the global population by 2050. They represent an essential leverage point for the mobility transition process. For the past three years, the WWF has been engaging all stakeholders (politicians, communities, businesses, citizens) around its overall vision of “less, better, differently.” The aim is to support them in implementing new organizational models that are in line with the principle of One Planet Living*. It’s a question of influence but also of embodying this vision in the field through concrete contributions, as we’ve been doing with the Rouen Normandie Metropolis.
Today, renewable energies account for 15% of Porto Santo’s electricity production. What happens when the electric vehicle is introduced? That’s what we’re trying to understand.
While the electric mix still relies principally on fossil fuels of 85%, we’re noticing that the carbon footprint of an electric vehicle** is still lower by 11% than that of a diesel vehicle, and 34% than that of a gas-powered one. And the gap widens sharply when the amount of renewable energy in the mix increases, thanks in particular to second generation batteries.
By combining 100% electric mobility and 100% renewable energy, the carbon footprint from electricity and mobility is very low. The island of Porto Santo could therefore divide its carbon footprint by 10 come 2030. In this scenario, the storage of surplus green energy using batteries is essential. In the absence of stationary batteries, renewable energies could only amount to 70% of the energy mix instead of 99.5%. This is one of the levers to be favored for reducing the island’s carbon footprint.
We’ll continue our research in Porto Santo on usage and economic aspects. We’re also planning to study, with Groupe Renault, other territories like Belle-Île-en-Mer.
We know that it works, we must now work quickly towards the large-scale adoption of these renewable energy-electric mobility ecosystems!
* “Living within the limits of a single planet’s resources”
** Throughout its entire life cycle
Copyrights : Paulo, CALISTO,Renault Portugal, le WWF