The point is to balance supply and demand between when people need energy to drive and when they need it to run their home. “Yes, if everyone connected to the grid at the same time and charged the car at full capacity, this outdated charging model would not work,” says Jan Kleissl, director of the Center for Energy Research at the University of California at San Diego. , which did not participate in the new simulation. “But if we can vary the demand, then we can certainly make it work because no vehicle needs to be charged 24 hours a day.”
Commercial and government vehicles such as public transport or school buses can also connect to V2G. A company called Nuvve, which develops V2G technology, was working with school districts in Southern California to turn their buses – with their amazing batteries – into V2G assets. School buses run on a reliable schedule so their batteries can power the grid after the kids have been dropped off and then recharge in time to pick them up the next day. On weekends and holidays, the bus battery will be available at any time.
One advantage of V2G is that it can subsidize the cost of owning an electric car: the longer it sits in your garage, the more money you make. “If you’re the type of person who can work from home and don’t have to drive their electric car often, then participating in V2G can probably generate some income,” says Gasper. “So you provide more utility to the vehicle to help deflect the cost of vehicle ownership, which is huge.”
You might think that extra usage will quickly drain the battery, but that’s not always the case. “If you have an electric car and drive it infrequently, V2G can really prolong battery life of your car,” says Gasper. Discharging it from time to time is essentially training it to keep it healthy. “There are two ways to kill a battery, and one of them is to keep it fully charged all the time – which is why laptop batteries drain very quickly. And the second is to use it constantly.
However, large-scale V2G faces some serious challenges. First, not every electric vehicle is equipped for bi-directional charging, although automakers are increasingly implementing these capabilities for vehicles such as new nissan leaf and Ford F-150. It also requires a special charger that reverses current to draw power from the battery. Given these limitations, V2G is still in its early stages of development, with about 100 pilot programs running around the world.
Secondly, there is no industry standard for V2G crossover components: right now there are many cars from different manufacturers connected to different charging systems, which themselves are connected to different networks.
Utilities may offer different compensation to both individual EV owners and fleet operators. “One of the things we really need to learn is: what kind of incentives should we offer drivers in both categories to encourage them to participate?” says Joseph Vellone of Ev.energy, which creates software that regulates electric vehicle charging and is working with a consortium of charger manufacturers and automakers to test V2G strategies.