Mini power plants – on wheels | WIRED

6 months ago

Electric Vehicles (EV) are not new. Battery-powered vehicles have been on city roads for over a century. And sales of electric vehicles have grown steadily over the past decade. The introduction of electric vehicles is already widespread in Europe and is penetrating into the US. In 2021, EV sales tripled in China and doubled globally, to 6.6 million.. Sales of cars with internal combustion engines peaked a few years ago.all new growth in car sales comes from electric vehicles.

Cars are personal vehicles, but the true value of electric vehicles is not so much what they can do for one owner, but what their wide network can do for everyone. In 2023, with 100 million electric vehicles on the road and in garages, the world will have for the first time a massive distributed network of massive electricity storage. Just think that By the end of 2020, 16,500 vehicles can store as much energy as all batteries installed in the US..

Ability to send energy from vehicles is a key transformation. In 2023, when people realize the value of the car as an energy storage device, they will install bi-directional chargers in their homes and businesses. This will really transactive energy network. Imagine electrons flowing in and out of people’s personal batteries in gigawatts. It will be the first truly intelligent power grid, and it will only work if it’s electric – just imagine passing volatile, explosive gasoline in and out of vehicles’ tanks.

In practice, this means getting new value from an asset that is not used 97% of the time. In the same way that people run a transportation business with their cars — like Uber or an Amazon grocery store — car owners will be able to run their own electricity trading business. Local communities will pool the power of their private vehicles to protect their area’s electricity supply in the event of an emergency, or to ensure local electricity generation from solar and storage, reducing energy bills for everyone.

There will be other changes, some of which will be unexpected. In 2023, grid-connected electric vehicles will start making semi-autonomous decisions to sell electricity to the grid where needed. Communities will focus on exploiting—or eliminating—these grid opportunities, creating new business models for storing, moving and selling energy to companies; their neighbors; and other devices such as electric bikes and boats. People will also use their mobile power sources to invent new sports and entertainment. Giving hundreds of millions of people the ability to store and move large amounts of electricity would lead to a Cambrian explosion of creativity.

What exactly will millions of people do with their own mini power plants? I can’t tell you this, but liberation from a century old, calcified, often corrupt, centralized fossil energy system will change everything.


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