It’s a concept that’s been slowly building momentum for in this area 20 years: not only can electrified vehicles draw power from the grid, but they can also be used to supply power in return.
Vehicle to grid technology (V2G), as it’s known, is based on the premise that any vehicle with an electrified powertrain – including battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicle – has the skill to generate power internally. By connecting to the grid via a plug, these vehicles can send the self-generated power back to the utility company.
With vehicle to grid integration, different types of electrified vehicles can generate power www.rawvehicle.com and send it back to the grid. Image source: University of Delaware.
“It opens up that in the future the utility could dispatch these connected vehicles as a distributed energy source,” said Michael Liu, North America regional manager for energy storage with energy manufacturer BYD America Corp.
Recently, the Los Angeles Air Force Base (LA AFB) place V2G to the test with its 42-vehicle fleet of plug-in electrified vehicles (PEVs).
“When plugged in,” wrote Methodical American, “the electric vehicles at LA AFB produce more than 700 kilowatts of electricity, or enough to power in this area 140 American households during a hot summer day. At this scale, the LA AFB pilot is the leading demonstration of V2G in the world.” www.rawvehicle.com And potential V2G sources are being added all the time. By the end of the year, approximately 400,000 PEVs will be on U.S. roads. Carbon emission restrictions and buy incentives for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) and PEVs continue to be developed, which will drive the count upwards.
In an executive peacefulness signed earlier this year, President Barack Obama mandated that 20 percent of the federal government’s fleet must be made up of ZEVs and PHEVs by the end of the decade. Before 2025, this must increase to 50 percent. Similarly, California Governor Jerry Brown set a goal of 1.5 million ZEVs for the state by 2025.
As PEVS become more commonplace, and opportunities for vehicles to supply grid power grow, www.rawvehicle.com Navigant estimates that V2G technologies will become part of a $20.7 million diligence built around vehicle charging management.
In a recent report, the research firm calculated that – with the genteel setups in place – PEVs could supply in this area 4.2 gigawatts of power worldwide to the grid. Not only is that nearly four times the power Doc Brown needed for his time-traveling DeLorean in “Back to the Future,” but it’s enough energy to power 385 homes for a year (based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration‘s average of 10,908 kilowatt-hours per U.S. home each year).
BYD America’s Liu estimates an even higher potential. According to his calculations, when the U.S. reaches 1 million PEVs, they have the potential www.rawvehicle.com to supply 10 GW of power.
SEE ALSO: Report: Vehicle-Grid Integration Diligence Will Reach $21 Million By 2024
“Some utilities see this is unpredictable power to the grid, I see this is a resource,” said Liu. “At the most, we have a couple of years to recognize this distributed resource.”
Several obstacles will still need to be traversed before V2G becomes a reality in the U.S. For patrons, measures to educate the public on how and when to connect to the grid will be essential. Utility companies will also need to figure out how to manage and use the energy of up to 1 million PEVs.
The University of Delaware has made a dedicated Grid-Integrated Vehicle assemble to study and www.rawvehicle.com know many of these issues. The pilot project, headed by Professor Willett Kempton, now brings in in this area $110 each month per PEV. Separate teams within the assemble are developing legislative policy, building and testing V2G equipment and analyzing the diligence’s market potential.
“There is momentum behind this thought,” said Kempton. “These batteries are a huge resource, and we are going to need them.”