Despite various hiccups, electromobility is well on track to becoming a success. But first, it has to earn back its long-attested reputation as a sustainable alternative. After all, for electromobility to be viable in the long term, the energy that powers it needs to come exclusively from renewable sources and not fossil fuels or nuclear fission. Nowadays, sustainable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines are everywhere you look, so the question is: Why aren’t they being used to charge electric vehicles directly? One reason is that these vehicles are currently always charged from the grid. This means the solar cells’ direct current is first converted into alternating current for the power grid and then converted back into direct current for the vehicle’s energy storage device. Annoyingly, just under ten percent of energy is lost during each conversion process, resulting in a total loss of approximately 19 percent. PRE therefore decided it was time to tackle the issue. Together with researchers from Delft University of Technology and Last Mile Solutions, the company developed a charging station that enables drivers to charge their electric cars using solar panels - without having to plug into the grid.
The result is the world's first ever solar-powered bidirectional vehicle-to-grid (V2G) rapid charging device. It charges electric cars directly with solar energy (photovoltaics), thereby circumventing the usual conversion losses. The V2G device is designed to be 17 percent more efficient than comparable charging devices on today's market. Shortly before its premiere at HANNOVER MESSE 2018, the cutting-edge charging device from PRE won the IDTechEX Award in Berlin - the perfect testimonial for participating in this year's fair.