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Hey EV Owners: It Would Take a Fraction of Yourself to Power the Grid

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The key is to stagger supply and demand between when people need electricity to drive and when they need it to run their homes. “Yes, if everyone plugged in at once and charged a car at full power, it wouldn’t work on this outdated charging model,” says Jan Kleissl, director of the Center for Energy Research at the University of California, San Francisco. Diego. , who was not involved in the new modeling. “But if we’re able to vary the demand, 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, is working with school districts in Southern California to turn their buses — with their prodigious batteries — into V2G assets. School buses operate on a reliable schedule, so their batteries can power the grid after kids are dropped off, then recharge in time to pick them up the next day. On weekends and holidays, a bus battery would be available at all times.

One of the benefits of V2G is that it can subsidize the cost of owning an electric vehicle: the longer it stays in your garage, the more money you make. “If you’re the kind of person who can work from home and doesn’t have to drive your EV very often, then participating in V2G could probably generate revenue,” says Gasper. “So you’re providing more utility to the vehicle to help deflect the cost of vehicle ownership, which is huge.”

You might think that extra use would quickly degrade the battery, but that’s not always true. “If you own an electric vehicle and you don’t drive it very often, V2G could actually to deploy themselves the life of your vehicle’s battery,” says Gasper. Unloading it from time to time is basically exercising it to keep it healthy. “There are two ways to kill a battery, and one is to keep it fully charged all the time – why laptop batteries die very quickly. And the other is to use it constantly.

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Large-scale V2G, however, faces major challenges. For one thing, not all electric vehicles are equipped to perform bi-directional charging, although automakers are increasingly adopting these capabilities for vehicles like the new Nissan Leaf and Ford F-150. It also requires a special charger that reverses current to extract energy from the battery. Given these limitations, V2G is still in its infancy, with approximately 100 pilot programs underway worldwide.

On the other hand, there is no industry standard for cross-components of V2G: at present there is a patchwork of vehicles from different manufacturers plugging into different charging systems that plug themselves on different networks.

And utilities can offer different compensation, whether to individual electric vehicle owners or fleet operators. “One of the things we really need to learn is, what incentives do we need to offer drivers in both categories to get them to participate?” says Joseph Vellone of Ev.energy, which makes software that regulates electric vehicle charging and is working with a consortium of charger makers and automakers to test V2G strategies.