This week a white paper was published by Nissan who partnered with E. ON Drive and Imperial College London as part of a commercial fleet V2G project known as e4Future. The e4Future project is one of several V2G projects being run with the help of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles.
The white paper revealed the aim of the project is to explore how the bi-directional charging capability of electric vehicles could contribute to lower emissions and helping achieve long-term goals regarding climate change. In August 2020, some fleets were invited to sign up to trials of V2G and the research suggests that vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology could save fleets up to £1,250 annual charging costs per electric vehicle.
Fleet vehicles would be uniquely suited V2G applications, due to their predictable and regular usage patterns as well as the fact that most of them are returned back to base at the end of the day, where they sit idle overnight. This makes for the perfect conditions for V2G to utilise the energy stored in their batteries, before ensuring the vehicles are fully charged and ready to be used the next day.
It was also found that V2G could bring annual electricity system operation cost savings of up to £12,000 per electric vehicle while also reducing CO2 reduction by approximately 60 tonnes per annum per EV.
What is V2G?
V2G stands for “vehicle-to-grid” and is a technology which enables electricity to flow in both directions to and from electric vehicle batteries. With this technology, a car battery can be charged and discharged based on different signals – such as energy production or consumption nearby. Energy which is stored in the battery is sold back to the grid when the demand for power is high.
Essentially, the idea behind vehicle-to-grid is comparable to smart charging. Smart charging is also known as V1G charging which enables controlling the charging of electric cars in a way that allows the charging power to be increased and decreased when needed. However, V2G charging will be more efficient than smart charging due to its ability to link EV’s together and put significant levels of energy back into the grid at peak times. For example, if the UK’s current fleet of 164,000 electric vehicles was V2G enabled, as much as 200 MW of power could be provided to the grid which is equivalent to 100 wind turbines and enough to power 100,000 homes. By 2030, with millions more electric vehicles on the road it could reach 5GW of power back to the grid.
V2G will help reduce the grid’s need for additional energy generation, typically supplied by fossil fuels at peak times and will reduce demand on electricity networks, thus allowing electric vehicle drivers to use greener and cheaper technology.
Which vehicles are v2G compatible?
Nissan adds that bi-directional charging is important to unlocking the full potential of EVs and it’s key that all organisations including grid operators and charge point companies enable this technology. Nissan also noted that bi-directional charging using CCS is under study. However, Nissan will continue to offer CHAdeMO products in the future and there’s no plan to switch the LEAF or e-NV200 to CCS at present.
BMW is developing bi-directional charging technology and is conducting a study as part of a consortium in Germany. BMW aims to provide 50 BMW i3 vehicles equipped with bi-directional charging technology for on-road trials starting early this year. Once the trial commences, the Bidirectional Charging Management (BCM) trial is due to last a year. BMW says that integrating as many electric vehicles as possible into the power grid in this way calls for a range of innovations in terms of vehicle technology, charging hardware and communication with the energy sector stakeholders and legal parameters.
For more information on how fleets can get involved with v2G trials, visit www.eonenergy.com/v2g.
Do you want your car or van fleet to take advantage of the V2G benefits? Fleet UK has excellent business lease deals on both the Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 electric vehicles.
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