V2G technology will bring significant energy savings


Innovative Vehicle-to-Grid designs, where electric vehicles act as a form of distributed energy storage, could save Britain's up to £ 880m annually while reducing emissions from power grids.

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) is a concept that enables connected vehicles to act as a form of distributed energy storage by providing grid demand response services. Batteries in parked vehicles can be used to transfer electricity from the car to the distribution network and back depending on demand.

Necessary support

Research published in collaboration with car maker Nissan, energy giant E.ON and Imperial College London shows that accelerating widespread adoption of V2G by adopting appropriate UK government policies could save £ 410 million to £ 885 million per year. This could be achieved if the initial capital and operating expenditure were compensated by a policy of incentives.

V2G would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity system as vehicles use, store and deliver clean energy in relation to the grid demand. It would also save system operating costs of around £ 12,000 per year per electric vehicle, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 60 tonnes per electric vehicle each year.

Backed by experience

In August, Nissan installed 20 EV chargers with V2G capabilities at its European Tech Center in Cranfield to develop new 'smart' mobility packages for business customers. During the trial period, vehicles were connected to chargers at intervals designed to recreate corporate fleet schedules - mostly at night, but also during the day. E.ON's virtual power plant software and the digital electric vehicle charging platform provided by Virta automate charging and exporting energy in line with signals such as grid demand, energy prices and carbon intensity in the energy mix.

On a large scale

Homes are being sought in the Midlands in Southwest and South Wales to test technology.

Conversely, Electric Nation is seeking 100 owners of Nissan electric cars to participate in smart grid tests. Currently, only Nissan electric cars can be used for testing due to the specially developed charging technology.