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Réunion Island is making a name for itself as a real-world testing ground to take electric vehicles from niche to mainstream.
Like the rest of the world, the Indian Ocean island is facing climate change and sustainable energy challenges. Taking a total-solution approach involving a comprehensive series of green energy programs, Réunion has given itself an ambitious target of attaining energy autonomy where reducing the public’s dependency on internal combustion engine vehicles is a priority.
Schneider Electric supplies EVlink™ charging terminals and energy management software and participates in the commissioning, maintenance, and evaluation of charging networks.
A key imperative is that the charging of EVs should not overstrain the island’s main electricity grid. Harnessing the energy of the sun is Réunion’s forte. Leveraging local solar energy know-how, Schneider Electric contributed its expertise to building an autonomous solar-powered charging infrastructure where the needed power is generated at the charging points.
By December 2011, the first custom EVlink system specific to Réunion’s requirements was successfully installed. The floor-standing EVlink terminals are connected to batteries charged by on-site PV panels. Hybrid PV inverters are installed for access to EDF’s central grid as backup for unforeseen situations only.