A smart elec­tric ecosystem is be­ing de­vel­oped on the French is­land of Belle-Île-en-Mer, which lies off the coast of south­ern Brit­tany.

From next year, res­i­dents will have ac­cess to a self-ser­vice hire pro­gramme fea­tur­ing a fleet of Re­nault elec­tric cars that can be pow­ered via a net­work of charg­ing sta­tions lo­cated close to the is­land’s main at­trac­tions.

The new ser­vice will take ad­van­tage of sur­plus en­ergy pro­duced by so­lar pan­els in­stalled on the roofs of ma­jor pub­lic build­ings on Belle-Île-en-Mer.

Groupe Re­nault also plans to pro­vide sec­ond-life elec­tric car bat­ter­ies for the is­land’s largest hol­i­day res­i­dences fa­cil­ity.

These bat­ter­ies will be used to store en­ergy pro­duced dur­ing the day by so­lar pan­els for use in the evening, chiefly to heat bun­ga­lows. This should al­low the cen­tre to ex­tend its sea­son which un­til now has been re­stricted by heat­ing costs.

The ini­tia­tive on the is­land fol­lows the launch of the Smart Fos­sil Free Is­land pro­gramme, which has been op­er­a­tional since last Fe­bru­ary on the Por­tuguese is­land of Porto Santo in the Madeira ar­chi­pel­ago.

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