Drivers can take part in a revolutionary trial that enables electric cars to charge the National Grid from 2021, Electric Nation revealed. In other words, cars will transfer power to the grid from their batteries rather than taking from it. But why bother? What is the benefit of this ‘vehicle to grid’ system (V2G)?
As said, electric cars recharge their batteries by taking power from the National Grid. It therefore has to produce enough electricity via its power stations to meet demand. As of now this is not a problem. Why? Because there is only a small number of electric vehicles. However, this is likely to change in the future.
The National Grid might therefore struggle to produce enough power to charge every car. So, the purpose of vehicle to grid is to ensure supply meets demand. Let us see how it works (in principle).
How vehicle to grid works
Initially, motorists recharge their vehicles when demand for electricity is low. At night, for instance. At these times, the cost of electricity is low (per unit). In contrast, when demand is high – for example, between 5pm and 7pm – vehicles send power back to the grid. In other words, motorists sell the electricity. At these times, electricity costs more per unit so they make a profit.
As such, electric cars combine to create a ‘huge decentralised power station’, Electric Nation explained. A ‘significant’ amount of power can then be transferred to the National Grid at peak times. ‘This will help to reduce the grid’s need for additional energy generation either through fossil fuels or renewable energy’.
Trial qualifying criteria
Electric Nation plans to recruit one-hundred people to trial vehicle to grid. If you take part, you will have a ‘state-of-the-art’ charger fitted at home that is worth £5,500. You can retain the charger at the end of the trial for £250. Naturally, you have to meet a range of criteria to qualify for this trail. You have to:
- Live in the Midlands, South West, or South Wales
- Have a Nissan electric vehicle (30kWh battery or greater)
- Keep the vehicle until the end of the trial (March 2022)
- Have off road parking
- Use the CrowdCharge mobile app.
Project Manager praises V2G
Project Manager, Roger Hey, explained why vehicle to grid is important. He claimed: ‘V2G has the potential to transform how networks approach the challenge of keeping millions of electric vehicles charged. Introducing up to thirty-eight million over the coming years could create great strain on the system.’
‘By harnessing flexible systems and introducing V2G, we can build a far more efficient and flexible network that does not require billions of investment and a big uplift in capacity’, Mr Hey added.