FRANCE. Mobilize PowerBox: the charging station produced in France by LACROIX and marketed by the Renault network

Mobilize PowerBox, the smart, connected, secure and bidirectional charging station, starts production at LACROIX’s Symbiose electronics plant located in Beaupréau-en-Mauges (Maine-et-Loire, France) with an initial capacity of 65,000 units/year.

Developed by members of the Software République (Orange, Renault Group, STMicroelectronics and Thales) and their technology partner IoTecha Corp, Mobilize PowerBox makes it possible to safely charge all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The charging station is available in four versions. One of the bidirectional versions (V2G[i]) not only allows users to charge their vehicle but also to send electricity back to the grid. Its connectivity contributes to an intelligent management of the electricity grid. With the “My PowerBox” app, the load control and monitoring of these four versions is done remotely.

Mobilize PowerBox and its home installation are offered by Mobilize Power Solutions throughout the Renault network to facilitate the transition of users to electric vehicles.

On February 8, 2024, partners from Software République’s innovation ecosystem (Orange, Renault Group, STMicroelectronics and Thales) will meet for the industrial launch of the Mobilize PowerBox charging station at the site of the new production line at the Symbiose electronics plant in Beaupréau-en-Mauges (Maine-et-Loire, France). The initial production capacity is 65,000 units/year. The Mobilize PowerBox charging station will soon be marketed in the Renault network for all electric vehicles of Renault Group brands.

Mobilize PowerBox: a charging station made in France by LACROIX

LACROIX, an expert in the design and manufacture of connected equipment and solutions, is equipping its Symbiose plant with a new production line for the manufacture of the Mobilize PowerBox terminal. LACROIX has the capacity to produce, initially, 65,000 units/year thanks to its automated and digitalized Industry 4.0 strategy. In the event of larger volumes, the production line can be adapted or even duplicated to meet the growing expectations of the market. Symbiose is the group’s 4.0 plant, inaugurated in September 2022, located in Beaupréau-en-Mauges in Maine-et-Loire. It is part of the group’s desire to contribute to the relocation of the electronics sector in France. In addition, the plant benefits from a network of local suppliers to reduce the carbon impact of the supply chain.

A unique concept by the founders and partners of Software République

The Software République is an innovation ecosystem dedicated to smart, secure and sustainable mobility. Thanks to the expertise of the members of Software République (Orange, Renault Group, STMicroelectronics and Thales) and their technology partner IoTecha Corp, Mobilize PowerBox has been designed to provide maximum cybersecurity and to guarantee a terminal that is always at the cutting edge of technology thanks to a remote update system. A collective strength that has made it possible to deliver this charging station to Mobilize in record time. Each partner contributed according to their area of expertise:

IoTecha Corp: Field-proven smart charging hardware and software, industrial control, ISO15118 and OCPP protocols,

Orange: 4G telecommunications and associated services,

Renault Group: architecture of electric vehicle charging systems,

STMicroelectronics:  semiconductor components: microprocessor, communication, and security,

Thales: cybersecurity, data protection, secure identities and access management.

A charging station that is always in tune with the times and its environment

Mobilize PowerBox is a charging solution that adapts to all electrical installations, single-phase or three-phase. It can be installed both indoors and outdoors, on a wall or on a stand. At home, its use is integrated into the electrical ecosystem of the house. It benefits from a dynamic energy management system that allows the charging power to be modulated by adapting to the available power thereby avoiding any power outages in the house.

The Mobilize PowerBox is powered by alternating current (AC). It delivers a charging power of up to 22 kW, depending on the electrical installation and the charging capacity of the vehicle. Mobilize PowerBox is compatible with all electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles equipped with a Type 2 plug.

Mobilize PowerBox: a range of four charging stations to meet every need

To adapt to the different needs of individuals and professionals, Mobilize PowerBox is available in four versions:

The UNO version: for individuals looking for a simple and secure home charging solution.

The UNO PLUS version: for infrastructures installed in companies or apartment blocks. It incorporates an RFID card reader to ensure that only authorized users have access to the charge. This will give the manager better traceability of usage.

The UNO PRO version: for charging stations that would be accessible to the public and for charging stations installed at employees’ homes. This version has an RFID reader and a MID (Measurement Instruments Directive) meter for electricity rebilling. The MID meter simplifies the reimbursement of employees’ professional expenses by certifying the electricity consumed during home charging.

The VERSO version: (bidirectional): to charge the vehicle but also to send electricity back to users’ home grid and the public grid. This version will generate significant savings for users. Thanks to alternating current technology, Mobilize PowerBox VERSO allows as many people as possible to access the bidirectional charging of their vehicle, thereby helping maximize the impact of smart energy management. This two-way charging station will be available for the launch of the electric Renault 5.

All these versions will benefit from automatic updates and remote diagnostics (FOTA, firmware over the air) via WiFi or Ethernet connection. They will be equipped with a type 2 secure socket or a 6.5 m cable (outside France). The UNO PRO and VERSO versions also have a 4G connection.

The “My PowerBox” app to control and monitor your charge remotely

“My PowerBox” allows users to control their charging remotely and view their consumption history. The app also offers to defer charging during the night (between midnight and 6 a.m.), thus optimizing the cost of charging according to options in the electricity contract. In addition, users will be able to receive alerts on their app so that they are always informed when their charging session ends. To prevent unauthorized use of the charging station, customers will be able to lock access from their app.

A simplified purchasing process to facilitate the transition to electric

The purchase and installation of a Mobilize PowerBox charging station will be offered to all customers when purchasing their electric vehicles in the Renault network. To facilitate the transition to electric mobility, they will be able to opt for an “all-inclusive” charging solution offer, developed in partnership with Mobilize Power Solutions: a fixed price is established according to the characteristics of the installation at home, in particular the location of the charging station in relation to the electricity meter, by using an innovative tool based on Google Maps. There is no need for a prior technical visit, a simple videoconference check is carried out by a Mobilize Power Solutions expert upstream in order to verify the compliance of the customer’s electrical installation. An appointment is then scheduled to install the charging station before the delivery of the car and within a maximum of 45 working days after the order.

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