How Should EV Owners Be Rewarded for Supporting the Grid?

A group of organizations with funding from the U.K. government will work to understand how best to reward drivers who use their electric car batteries to support the U.K.’s power grid.

A new study, called V2GB—Vehicle to Grid Britain, will identify how to incentivize a rapid roll-out of vehicle to grid (V2G) technology by sharing revenue from supporting the grid with stakeholders, such as drivers of electric vehicles, owners of smart chargers, owners of charging sites, and aggregators of battery capacity.

The study will be conducted by a consortium that includes National Grid, Western Power Distribution and Nissan’s European Technical Centre, as a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance research activities. Energy consultancy Element Energy will coordinate the project and lead the modelling, supported by home battery company Moixa Technology; U.K. nonprofit consultancy Cenex; and public-private nonprofit Energy Systems Catapult.

Listen: Inside Renewable Energy: The Coming V2G Uptrend — Where’s the Value in Grid Friendly Electric Vehicles?

“Electric vehicles will play a key role in decarbonizing road transport but put new demands on our power network,” Chris Wright, Moixa Chief Technology Officer, said in a statement. “V2G could bring major savings, by managing this demand and reducing the need for costly upgrades. We can lower the cost of owning electric cars and support growth of this sector by sharing these savings fairly, so that drivers benefit from the use of their batteries to support the grid.”

Ten new Nissan LEAFs, each with a 40-kWh battery, can store as much energy as a thousand homes typically consume in an hour, according to Moixa.

For the study, National Grid and Western Power Distribution will advise the study group on the full range of ways electric vehicles can support the energy system and the revenue this can generate. Nissan’s European Technical Centre will provide real-life data on driver behavior. In addition, Moixa and Cenex will contribute experience from the U.K.’s first domestic V2G trial, which demonstrated that using power from electric vehicle batteries to help balance supply and demand could earn around £60 (US$83) a month per vehicle.

Lead image: Nissan LEAF. Credit: Nissan

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