Groupe Renault unveils France’s first smart island on Belle-Île-En-Mer

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, which has been operational since last February.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Source: Groupe Renault