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Green mobility 04/05/2020

The Vehicle To Grid technology, the future of electric cars?

The vehicle-to-grid (or V2G) technology allows plug-in electric vehicles to be connected with power grids and to communicate with them, through the use of a two-way charger. With this system, the power can thus flow either way: electricity produced by renewable energy sources can be extracted from the grid and then stored in the vehicles’ batteries, before finally, when needed, reintroduced into the grid. 

The vehicle-to-grid (or V2G) system can also sell new demand response services as the electricity can be sold back and helps accelerate the vehicles’ charging rate.

In Germany, the electric Nissan Leaf car was approved to serve as a mobile power supply terminal as well as a stabilising back-up of the grid.

ENGIE Eps, which focuses on energy storage systems and microgrids, signed a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2017 to coordinate activities related to electric mobility and the creation of a “real ‘ecosystem’ of products and services to answer to the expectations of electric vehicle owners”.

The partnership includes the creation of the world’s biggest V2G pilot project in Turin in collaboration with ENGIE Italy. The project will incorporate 700 vehicles and will produce 25 MW of electricity to supply stabilization services for the grid when the vehicles are not used.

The project ENGIE DERMS (Distributed Energy Resources Management Systems) has also integrated the V2G technology as part of its seven value proposals to answer the challenges of the Distributed Energy Future.

Here are three things to know about vehicle-to-grid technology:

  • In times of excess supply, the electric car batteries can be charged by the grid, and then sell the electricity back when renewable energy stocks are low. In Germany, for example, more than 5 TWh of energy surplus produced by wind turbines were wasted in 2017 and 2018. That is why the country is betting on the V2G system, as a solution to store such energy surplus and use it to compensate for consumption peaks during the winter.

  • Electric vehicle owners could be remunerated by providing their stored power to electric utilities, the same way customers are paid in some countries for electricity excesses they generate with their rooftop solar systems. 

  • Electric vehicles also have an important role to play in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and a zero-carbon emission world. The V2G technology enables cars to become grid stabilisers which can maximize the grid’s efficiency and the consumption of renewable energy on a local level.

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