Toshiba Corporation announced that it has completed construction of a car sharing system for the Lyon Confluence Smart Community Demonstration Project (Lyon, France). The system that implements Toshiba’s solar-power based electronic vehicle charge management system entered commercial operation yesterday.The Lyon Confluence district covers a total area of 150 hectares (370 ac.) in the very heart of Lyon, where rivers Rhone and Saone meet. A former industrial brownfield site located in the city center, the district is now being developed to become “one of the Europe’s flagship sustainable districts”, according to the Lyon Smart Community media kit.
This car sharing system is intended to ease traffic congestion and the lack of parking spaces in the Lyon redevelopment area, and to point the way to next generation traffic systems that will contribute to the realization of a low carbon society. This is especially important given that Lyon Confluence district is located on a peninsula served by a number of bridges. Thirty E-vehicles will be supported by each plug-in recharge station, and three quick charge stations in addition. The project will run for two years until December 2015.
The car sharing scheme has been designed to serve a variety of users and uses. Employees of firms located in the Confluence district will be able to use the fleet during the day for occasional business trips, while local residents will be able to use the car sharing system for leisure activities.
Toshiba Group’s role is to build and maintain the system and its components, including its Solar Power Generation Amount Forecasting System and Charging Schedule Optimization System that optimizes use of renewable energy as an energy source of electric vehicles. This predicts solar power generation capacity on the basis of information from weather forecasts and climate analysis, and combines this information with the status of reservations for EV sharing and data from their electrical systems, to arrive at an optimized allocation of the vehicles to users and optimal control over the electricity charge schedule of each vehicle.
Photovoltaic power generation capacity is strongly influenced by the weather and this can have a major impact on large systems based on solar energy. Further challenge is optimizing power charging system management in a car sharing service where demand for vehicles will fluctuate. Collaboration with French partner in a commercial operation will allow Toshiba group to verify the practical effectiveness of traffic systems that rely on renewable energy.