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EVs and PHEVs, the Edison Project

In March 2009, the EDISON project for EVs and PHEVs launched as a consortium of partners that include IBM, Siemens, DTU/Risø, DONG Energy, Eurisco, Østkraft, and Dansk Energi. It is an international research venture partly publicly-funded through the research program FORSKEL, administered by the Danish transmission system operator The total budget is approximately 49 million DKK (€6.5 million), 33 million DKK of which come from FORSKEL.

Image courtesy of the Edison Project.

The project will develop system solutions and technologies for EVs and PHEVs with the following objectives:

  • Enable a sustainable, economic, and reliable energy system with substantial fluctuating renewable energy.
  • Provide a technical platform for Danish demonstrations of EVs with emphasis on power system integration.
  • Export globally applicable Danish expertise in distributed energy resources and operation of energy systems with high wind power penetration.

The EDISON project connects research institutions and major industry enterprises to cover all three stages: research through concept and technology development to demonstration. The main emphasis is on the two first stages: research, and concept and technology development. The project also includes proof-of-concept where the developed technologies will be tested by using EVs and charging stations installed in the grid on the island of Bornholm. This location was chosen for the pilot test because it offers an opportunity to show the interaction between wind turbines and EVs in an isolated system. After a successful proof-of-concept test, the consortium expects to be ready for a large-scale demonstration by the end of 2011.

Halfway through the project in 2010, important results were already being used for input in the upcoming standard ISO/IEC 15118 (V2G communication interface) along with suggested new logical nodes for the existing standard IEC 61850 (International Electrotechnical Standards, Communication networks and systems in substations).

Fostering of several similar projects throughout Europe has been one of the indirect project results, which has led to an increased knowledge sharing between the power and automobile industries. For this reason, most EV manufacturers see the value of smart charging today. Although the initial focus of the EDISON project was on integrating renewables, investigations have shown that restrictions in the grid distribution must be addressed very early in the process of implementing EVs into the power system.

However, despite the emergences of activities such as the EDISON Project that explore the potential for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services that include EVs, the main focus of Danish research in transportation technologies has been on biofuels and hydrogen and fuel cells. More is described below.


Denmark has two world-leading companies—Novozymes and Danisco—that develop enzymes to produce bio fuels. In 2007, construction of a full-scale demonstration plant for second-generation bio ethanol using agricultural waste products began with support from EUDP. Inbicon, a subsidiary of DONG Energy, opened the new plant in November 2009. It is one of the largest full-scale production plants for second-generation bio ethanol in the world. The enzymes for production are delivered by Novozymes and Danisco, and the production of bio ethanol is distributed to the market by Statoil, which is the first company in Denmark to sell gasoline blended with bio ethanol.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

Several hydrogen and fuel cell related transport projects over the years have been funded by the Danish Energy Agency. This has led to around 10 hydrogen refueling stations in operation in Denmark, of which two stations are for road vehicles such as cars. The first station opened in 2011and it  provides 700-bar refueling that meets the international SAE J2601 standard on fast and safe refueling of hydrogen.

Transportation hydrogen-related efforts in Denmark are coordinated by the Hydrogen Link Denmark network and is part of the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) that constitutes a transnational networking platform that catalyzes and coordinates collaboration between three national networking bodies—HyNor (Norway), Hydrogen Link (Denmark), and Hydrogen Sweden (Sweden). The SHHP aims to establish an early hydrogen refueling infrastructure. Furthermore, the collaboration consists of regional clusters involving major and small industries, research institutions and local/regional authorities. The SHHP main focus at present is to position and attract the expected 2015 market introduction of hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles from the major car manufacturers for Scandinavia. Due to an attractive tax exemption on hydrogen cars in Denmark as well as Norway, the expected market price of vehicles in 2015 could be fully competitive with gasoline.