Vehicle-to-grid or V2G is a term that has made a lot of noise in the EV industry. V2G enables plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) to not only receive power from the grid but also to send power back to the grid when needed. This concept involves utilizing the battery capacity of electric vehicles(BEV, PHEV & Hydrogen Vehicles) as a sort of distributed energy storage system that can provide benefits to both vehicle owners and the electric grid. This revolutionary bidirectional charging system has various applications and benefits, and this blog post covers all of them, keep reading.
How does a V2G work?
Normally, you charge your car’s battery from the power grid when you need to drive. But with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, your car’s battery can do more than just power your car. Just like you charge your car at home, you can still charge it from the power grid. This is when your car gets filled up with electricity, so you’re ready to drive. Here’s where the interesting part comes in. When the power grid needs extra electricity because lots of people are using power, your car can transmit some of its electricity back to the grid. It’s like your car is sharing its extra energy with the neighbourhood. To make this process work the EVs must have bi-directional capabilities(specially V2G) and a charging station that is capable of doing so.
Why V2G is so revolutionary?
- Helps the Electricity Grid: Imagine a busy highway where traffic sometimes gets jammed. Similarly, the electricity grid can get overloaded when lots of people use electricity at the same time. With V2G, when many EVs are connected, they can give back some of their stored electricity to the grid when it’s super busy. This Helps balance the electricity flow and keeps things running smoothly.
- Uses Renewable Energy Better: Sometimes, the sun shines a lot or the wind blows hard, making lots of clean energy like solar or wind power. But the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow when we need electricity. V2G lets EVs soak up extra clean energy when it’s plentiful and then release it back into the grid when it’s cloudy or calm. It’s like saving sunshine for a rainy day!
- Saves Money and the Planet: When the grid is super busy, power companies might need to use polluting power sources that are more expensive. With V2G, EVs can provide extra electricity during these busy times, which can help use cleaner and cheaper energy sources. This not only saves money but also reduces air pollution and helps to fight climate change.
- Rewards EV Owners: People who own EVs can make some extra money with V2G. When they’re not using their cars, their vehicles can work like mini power plants, selling electricity back to the grid. It’s like renting out a room in your house when you’re not using it.
Electric Vehicles with V2G enabled
As of 17th August 2023, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Nissan Leaf are the only EVs on the market that are V2G enabled. Other manufacturers like BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Tesla, Renault and Volkswagen are also indicated to make their models V2G enabled. Australians are currently awaiting the 2023 Kia EV9 which will feature a CCS combo plug for vehicle-to-grid charging capabilities. However, Kia will not offer the V2G service for the EV9 at launch. This is because Australia has a slow pace for building infrastructure, obtaining regulatory approvals, and adding external hardware to enable V2G. Right now, South Australia is the only state that has approved Wallbox Quasar V2G Ev Charger for bi-directional charging in Australia.
The concept of Vehicle-to-Grid presents a revolutionary approach to harnessing the potential of electric vehicles (EVs) as dynamic energy assets. With Australia heavily reliant on coal for electricity generation, accounting for 55% of grid demand in the past year, the need to diversify and integrate cleaner energy sources into the grid has become paramount. The emergence of V2G technology offers a promising solution that aligns with the growing shift towards sustainable energy systems.