What is Vehicle-to-Grid charging?
But before we get into the project and its findings, here’s a very brief rundown of what Vehicle-to-Grid charging is.
Electric Vehicles that are V2G compatible can actually put power back into the energy grid, by using the energy stored in their battery packs. In practice, this means EV owners can charge their vehicle during a period of time where demand for electricity is low (read our Guide to Smart Charging for a breakdown of why it matters when you charge your EV). Whilst energy demand is low, more renewable energy is used to create our electricity, so the power then stored in that EV is essentially ‘green energy.’
Then, by utilising V2G technology, EV owners can sell that clean energy back to the grid during peak hours, or use it to power their home. It’s a great way to decarbonise the grid. Not only that, but it reduces energy bills too. Currently, it’s only possible to utilise V2G via a CHAdeMO connection - which is unfortunately a less commonly used connection.
Results of the Electric Nation V2G Project
In partnership with CrowdCharge, Electric Nation recruited a total of 100 Nissan electric vehicle owners from across the UK to participate. Nissan drivers were chosen as their EVs are fitted with the aforementioned CHAdeMO connectors. Some participants even had solar panels, allowing them to charge their EVs up for completely free.
By partnering with a variety of energy providers, the project captured a plethora of import and export tariff types. This makes it one of the leading projects of its type, simulating more accurately what the future of energy supply and EV charging will look like.
One of the participants of the project was Marie Hubbart. Through utilising both her solar panels and variable energy tariff, she was able to charge up her Nissan e-NV200 Campervan overnight at an incredibly cheap rate, then sell back to the grid during peak times. This reduced her bill by £25 to £50 per month, and was paid an additional £25 for the energy she sold back to the grid - a huge saving.
The future of Vehicle-to-Grid
As demonstrated, there’s huge potential for savings across UK households. However, the most exciting prospect is for fleets up and down the country;
Not only is this huge from an eco-perspective, but companies will have the chance to boost their bottom line by selling energy back to the grid when fleet vehicles aren’t in use.
Unfortunately, we’re not quite there yet. Vehicle-to-Grid charging is currently only possible via a CHAdeMO connection, which most European EVs aren’t fitted with. However, CCS chargers (the most common charging connection), is due to be V2G compatible by 2025.