PG&E Demonstrates Electric Vehicle-to-Grid Technology

During the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Alternative Energy Solutions Summit, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) demonstrated the first-ever utility Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology demonstration, which can make electric vehicles suppliers of electricity to homes and businesses.

V2G technology allows for the bidirectional sharing of electricity between Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs) and the electric power grid. The technology turns each vehicle into a power storage system, increasing power reliability and the amount of renewable energy available to the grid during peak power usage. PG&E’s prototype PHEV, converted in partnership with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Energy CS, adds a lithium-ion battery to a traditional Toyota Prius. The additional battery capacity increases the vehicle’s ability to run completely on electricity. V2G technology also serves as a way to increase the amount of renewable energy used during peak energy hours. During times of maximum demand, electrical utilities have to buy power from expensive and less efficient fossil fuel power generating sources. PHEVs will charge their batteries at night when energy is inexpensive and is generated with a larger percentage of renewable resources. When demand is high the next day, instead of turning on a fossil-fuel based generator, the utility can purchase the renewable energy stored in the vehicle batteries. “PG&E’s V2G demonstration marks an important milestone for plug-in vehicle technology,” said Felix Kramer, Founder of CalCars.org. “Using a grid-connected car’s battery as distributed energy storage for homes or businesses expands the economic and environmental benefits of plug-in vehicles.”
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