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Renault and five other corporate partners, along with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, signed a letter of intent today for a new electric vehicle test in France. The main intent of the 50-vehicle test will be to demonstrate that battery-powered vehicles charged from renewable sources have a lower overall life cycle CO2 impact than comparable internal combustion vehicles.

The program, which will take place on Reunion Island, also includes the deployment of a charging network to support the test fleet. The network will include both standard 220-volt and 400-volt fast charging stations. All electricity for the program will come from renewable sources, including solar and wind. The test partners include General Electric, Total and the utility EDF, which specializes in renewable electricity. Renault's press release is after the jump


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[Source: Renault]


PRESS RELEASE

In the presence of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Renault, EDF, GBH (Groupe Bernard Hayot), Total ReĢunion, GE Money and the GERRI agency today signed a letter of intent on the experimentation of 50 electric vehicles in Reunion together with battery charge infrastructure powered mainly by renewable energies.

The letter of intent signed today in Reunion by the six partners mentioned above, under the patronage of Nicolas Sarkozy, marks their commitment to the VERT project (Electric Vehicle for a Technological Reunion), a principal component of the GERRI program (Grenelle Environment Forum in Reunion – Succeeding in Innovation).

The document establishes the framework of an experiment to test electric vehicles and the corresponding charge infrastructures powered by dedicated renewable energy sources (notably photovoltaic). The idea behind the project is to demonstrate that the overall CO2 performance of the electric vehicles in Reunion is superior to that of today's thermal combustion and hybrid vehicles.

The purpose of the VERT program is to test the implementation of a network of charge infrastructures sized in number and charge technique (normal or fast) to meet the mobility needs of a territory with a limited geographical area.

VERT is also an opportunity to test specific electric mobility offers aimed at company or government vehicle fleets and at individual customers.

Lessons learnt from the project could be applied to countries or regions with similar electric systems.
The French Environment and Energy Management Agency, ADEME, will be submitting a file on the VERT project at an upcoming call for expression of interest (EOI).