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Status project: Lopend

Sustainably generated electricity from sustainable sources, particularly solar and wind are increasingly causing imbalance on the electricity grid. Because these sources are variable and poorly controllable, the electricity production sometimes exceeds the demand and vice versa. Network operators are therefore looking for smart grid solutions with which supply and demand can be smartly coordinated.

Electric cars can be used as a buffer in the energy grid through smart charging. With smart charging, electric cars are charged and discharged when there is a surplus or a shortage of electricity. The batteries of electric cars can be used for this purpose because cars stand still for the greater part of the day (shared cars are used up to 40%). A precondition for this is that the user adapts his charging behaviour to the available amount of solar energy. This requires interaction with the end user.

SolarMiles is about smart charging of electric shared cars with solar energy. To make electric driving really sustainable, the Amelander Energie Coöperatie and Grunneger Power want to charge electric shared cars with their own generated solar energy. At the same time, this can contribute to the net balance. Electric cars can act as a buffer in the energy grid by charging the cars when there is a surplus of solar energy. SolarMiles investigates how user mobility demand and the demand for buffer capacity in the grid can be cleverly linked.

In addition to knowledge about the technique of smart charging, it also requires insight into users interaction, often a ‘missing link’ in existing projects. Through researching the user variables in smart charging, the project aims to create conditions for further development of this technical innovation. In SolarMiles innovative service concepts are developed that motivate users of electric shared cars to charge these cars as much as possible with available solar energy. This is developed in close cooperation, or ‘co-creation’, with users. The service concept is tested and evaluated by potential users with help from BMW and the necessary software.


SolarMiles investigates how user mobility demand and the buffer capacity in the grid can be cleverly linked. To this end, the following questions will be answered:

  1. What are the characteristics of usage patterns of electric cars, production patterns of solarPV, technical infrastructure and net balancing of the electricity grid?
  2. How can electric shared cars within the limits of the current system make use of the available amount of solar energy and thus contribute to the net balance?
  3. Wat are the requirements of a service concept in order to motivate users of electric shared cars to adjust their charging patterns to the available amount of solar energy, so that buffering with these cars can be optimized?

The goal

The development of an innovative service concept is to encourage end users of electric shared cars to charge the cars efficiently, so that the available solar energy and the capacity of the car as a buffer can be optimally utilized.

By adapting to the users’ wishes and demands, we contribute to the development of service concepts for sustainable mobility that are supported socially. SolarMiles aims to create the conditions for further development of the current technological innovation from smart charging to a fully-fledged service that connects with the user.

Expected research results

SolarMiles will produce the following results:

  1. A data model in which the mobility patterns of users are linked to the generative patterns of solar energy and network data;
  2. Three different service concepts with a description of the ways in which the desired user behaviour and the user interaction can be realized;
  3. ‘Proof of concept’ of a new service concept for an electric shared car service, elaborated for the AEC and GP communities and tested, validated in Ameland.


By gaining insight into the behaviour and needs of the end user, the success of implementing the smart charging technology can be increased. With the project results existing players can further develop their products and services and the energy cooperation can further develop the ‘proof of concept’ and set it out within their communities. The process of co-creation with users leads to new forms of sustainable transport which can count on a better social support.

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