Smart Solar Charging


Utrecht first bidirectional city in the world due to collaboration Hyundai and We Drive Solar

In the presence of State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven, Alderman Eelco Eerenberg and Representative Huib van Essen, Hyundai signed an agreement this morning with strategic partners to make Utrecht the first region in the world with a bidirectional ecosystem. In this ecosystem, the batteries of electric shared cars are used for storage of sustainable energy on a large scale. With the arrival of a commercially available bidirectional car, innovation projects Smart Solar Charging, FLEET and IRIS take an important step towards realization.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands was present when the first bidirectional charging station was commissioned in Utrecht two years ago. Since then, almost 500 public charging stations popped up in the city and region of Utrecht. At these charging stations, electric cars can not only get charged with sustainable energy, but can also deliver energy back to the grid. Utrecht is the first city and region with a large network of bidirectional charging stations.

Watch the introduction by State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven below (please select English subtitles):

This collaboration is the next step towards implementation of the innovations proposed in Smart Solar Charging, FLEET and IRIS, three projects led by the Utrecht Sustainability Institute. The bidirectional charging technique was developed by the We Drive Solar-consortium within innovation project Smart Solar Charging, supported by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO). In the project FLEET, with TKI Urban Energy as co-financier, the concept is refined by looking more closely at charging rates. Within the European IRIS project, supported by Horizon2020, bidirectional charging is implemented in the urban district Kanaleneiland-Zuid in Utrecht, as part of the sustainable district of the future.

Collaboration between Hyundai and We Drive Solar

The ambition of We Drive Solar and her partners is to realize the energy- and mobility system of the future: hundreds of electric shared cars that provide clean air, less cars on the road and the buffer for large scale application of solar and wind energy in the region.

Because of her unique position and knowledge of bidirectional charging, Hyundai choose Utrecht as the place to test their first produced bidirectional car and apply it on a large scale: the IONIQ 5. The IONIQ 5 has bidirectional charging technology on board and is launched in Utrecht.

Partners of the We Drive Solar-consortium

Utrecht has the ambition to become the first bidirectional city and region of the world. This is made possible by the unique collaboration with different parties in the We Drive Solar-consortium:

  • ElaadNL for standardization and embedding the correct protocols.
  • Last Mile Solutions for the software-mediated control of charging stations.
  • Nieuwe Weme and Siers for the production and placement of charging stations.
  • Utrecht Sustainability Institute for the scientific validation of the ecosystem.
  • Stedin for the integration of bidirectional charging into the electricity grid.
  • Developers MRP and Ballast-Nedam Development for the large scale application of bidirectional shared cars in the newly developed, healthy and green urban district Cartesius in Utrecht.
  • Koolen Industries for the considerable scale up of the number of bidirectional shared cars.
  • Insurance company a.s.r. Nederland for the realization of the largest bidirectional charging plaza in the world.
  • GoodMoovs for coupling carsharing reservations with bidirectional charging.
  • The city and region of Utrecht for placement public bidirectional charging stations.


Hyundai and We Drive Solar plan to test bidirectional charging at charging stations throughout Utrecht and integrate the carsharing system of We Drive Solar before the summer. Then a large number of IONIQ 5 cars are launched. By early 2022, the number of cars are scaled up to 150 bidirectional shared cars in Utrecht.