Vehicles 2 Grid essentially means sending electrons from your EV battery back into the grid. This can be very valuable for a number of reasons, firstly one million electric vehicles with vehicle 2 grid could be equivalent to 5,500 wind turbines. When you think the UK government wants 37 million EVs on the roads by 2050, suddenly vehicle 2 grid could be more appealing than originally thought.
Whilst renewable energy is cheap and clean it is not however continuous as it fluctuates based on the sun and the wind. Therefore fossil fuels will be required to step in and provide an interim solution.
We do not continuously use a lot of electricity though. Instead we have peaks which are usually around 7:30am to 9:00am in the morning and again at around 4:30pm through to around 7:30pm in the evening. During these times when there is huge demand, fossil fuels will need to plug the gap. When demand is high, as we all know, prices are high.
Outside of peak times though, we could be using much better energy resources and solutions. If we can syphon off some of that renewable energy when the demand is lower, store this energy in the electric batteries and then give it back to the grid when the demand is high, that has three massive benefits:
- It reduces the overall demand on the grid during the busier times
- During the peak the demand can be met by a proportion of cleaner energy
- Households will benefit from buying energy when the cost is low and selling it back to the grid when prices are high
This is a great way for EV drivers to save huge amounts of money on their energy bills.
Vehicle 2 Load
This is where AC power is taken from the car to power appliances or charge another EV. The types of vehicles that offer this solution include both Kia and Hyundai. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 actually very impressively powered an entire electric cabin in Essex.
Vehicle 2 Home
This takes us up a notch. Using Vehicle 2 Home, energy from the car can be used to power a home or business. In the US, the Ford F-150 Lightning is successfully powering homes using this method.
Vehicle 2 Home could also be used in the scenario of powering car parks or buildings such as hospitals or businesses.
Vehicle 2 Grid in Action
Vehicle 2 Grid is already being used to power whole cities. Just look at the Dutch city of Utrecht who are using this sustainable energy method, with the help of energy company ‘We Drive Solar’. This city is quite probably one of the most advanced in the world and is using 800 bi-directional chargers on the streets.
Electric Vehicles That Are Vehicle 2 Grid Capable
Currently the Nissan Leaf, Nissan Electric Van and the Nissan Aria are the only fully electric vehicles that have Vehicle 2 Grid capability. However that being said many manufacturers are aware of the need for Vehicle 2 Grid capability and have promised to include this feature within their future EV releases.
Storing And Using Your Own Energy
If EV drivers have a big battery as well as solar panels at home, suddenly between owning an electric vehicle, a few kilowatt hours of storage and solar panels, there’s quite probably a greater incentive to balance your own self-generated energy in your own home, as opposed to selling it back to the grid.