New benefits for EV owners
Drivers could be paid for using their electric car batteries to support the power network
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Published: 27 February 2018
This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod
Moixa is joining leading energy and transport companies to study how to reward drivers who use their electric car batteries to support the UK’s power grid, the home battery company announced today (27 Feb).
The consortium will develop ways to incentivise a rapid rollout of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies by sharing revenue from supporting the grid with key players, such as drivers of electric vehicles, owners of smart chargers and owners of charging sites such as car parks. As a result, millions of electric car batteries could become a vital part of the UK energy system.
‘Electric vehicles will play a key role in decarbonising road transport but put new demands on our power network. V2G could bring major savings, by managing this demand and reducing the need for costly upgrades. We can lower the cost of owning electric cars and support growth of this sector by sharing these savings fairly, so that drivers benefit from the use of their batteries to support the grid.’
Moixa’s chief technology officer
How EVs can feed the grid
If electric vehicles are left plugged in to smart, two-way charging points when not in use, their batteries can feed power into the network at times of peak demand. Just 10 new Nissan LEAFs can store as much energy as a thousand homes typically consume in an hour.
Smart chargers can also control when cars recharge to avoid stressing the network and to store surplus power when demand is low. This would allow the grid to operate more efficiently, support high levels of renewables and rely less on fossil fuel power stations.
Moixa has pioneered technology that can manage flows of energy to and from electric car batteries and aggregate them to function as a virtual power plant that supports the energy network. Its GridShare platform uses machine learning to profile drivers’ patterns of behaviour so that cars always have enough power for their needs. Moixa is currently developing software that will also give drivers the option to control the level of charge manually.
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250k new EV sales each year
Analysis by Element Energy shows that without V2G, electric vehicles could account for 30% of new car sales by 2030, with 4.7 million on the road.
However, if V2G revenues are available to drivers and reduce the total cost of ownership of an EV by £1,000, electric vehicles could account for 40% of new car sales by 2030, with 6.5 million on the road.
Extra sales of 250,000 electric cars and vans, worth £5 billion, would be generated each year.
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‘Drivers are happy to earn extra money supporting the grid so long as they can use their car normally whenever they want. A freelancer who travels long distance at the drop of a hat is very different from a staffer who drives five miles to the office every day. Machine learning allows you to maximise utility around these patterns.’
Moixa’s chief technology officer
Mark Dale, an innovation and low carbon networks engineer at Western Power Distribution, said V2G ‘could present a real opportunity to provide a benefit to electric vehicle drivers, electricity customers and networks if managed in the correct way.’ He added that while the uptake of electric vehicles ‘will present significant challenges’, smart charging and V2G solutions could be ‘critical in integrating them into the electricity network with minimum disruption’.
The research consortium
The consortium includes National Grid, Western Power Distribution and car manufacturer Nissan’s European Technical Centre, as a part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance research activities.
Element Energy will coordinate the project and lead the modelling, supported by Moixa, Cenex and the Energy Systems Catapult.
National Grid and Western Power Distribution will advise on the full range of ways electric vehicles can support the energy system and the revenue this can generate. Nissan’s European Technical Centre will provide real-life data on driver behaviour, drawing on experience of delivering more than 500,000 electric vehicles worldwide.
Moixa and consultancy Cenex will contribute expertise from the UK’s first domestic V2G trial, which demonstrated that using power from electric vehicle batteries to help balance supply and demand could earn around £60 a month per vehicle.