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Review of the Seine Aval electric vehicles trial (SAVE)

Between March 2011 and December 2012, 65 Renault-Nissan electric vehicles were driven in the Seine Aval area and 130 charging stations installed as part of SAVE (Seine Aval Véhicules Électriques), France’s biggest ever trial of all-electric mobility, made possible by a partnership between eight public[1] and private[2] entities.

On Monday July 8, 2013 the SAVE project participants met at the Renault production site in Flins to present a review of the project and the outlook for the future. The event was attended by Alain Schmitz, Chairman of the Yvelines departmental council and EPAMSA board and Philippe Hirtzman, representative for the national deployment of charging infrastructure with France’s Ministry for Industrial Renewal.

SAVE has met its objectives:

providing experience in the deployment of all types of charging infrastructure and the associated services,
contributing to knowledge on vehicle use and charging,
convincing customers involved in the project: two customers out of three ordered an electric vehicle following the trial.

With 40 participants, 150 test drivers and 65 electric vehicles, SAVE attracted a broad base of support.

The SAVE trial involved many players, who thus became pioneers in electric mobility:

municipalities (Les Mureaux, Mantes la Jolie and Poissy) and companies (Carrefour, Total, Leclerc, Vinci Park, Intermarché) deployed charging infrastructure available to the public;
40 participants (companies, municipalities and consumers) acquired charging stations and electric vehicles;
more than 150 drivers tested electric mobility in real conditions of use at the wheel of one of the electric vehicles involved in the trial: 20 Renault Fluence Z.E., 35 Renault Kangoo Z.E. and ten Nissan Leaf.

Seine Aval, on the cutting edge of electric mobility
The Seine Aval area set the scene for a trial illustrating the possible future of all-electric mobility in France. The area, which was declared an OIN (operation of national interest) by the government, the Yvelines department and the municipalities, groups 51 towns and five inter-municipal bodies along the Seine River in the northern part of the Yvelines department outside Paris. The number and variety of charging stations here is the highest in France. A total of 130 charging stations, of which 48 open to the public, were installed as part of the trial. At the end of the project, 45 charging stations available to the public remained in operation and were upgraded with the latest developments. A further nine charging stations are scheduled for installation before the end of 2013. The stations are located in shopping centre car parks, on the street, in public car parks and in service stations. Wherever you are with your electric vehicle in Seine-Aval, you are never more than 15 km away from a charging station open to the public.

SAVE was an opportunity for all the participants to establish how best to install a complete ecosystem for electric mobility and to explore the related issues. All the technical and economic data necessary for deploying the various types of charging station were collected and analysed. The information gathered concerns:

the costs and problems related to installing charging stations,
interoperability between networks, stations and vehicles,
the need for energy management systems, and for tools and services used in the supervision and running of charging station networks.
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