Michael Pullan, Senior Communications Manager

T: 07557 619446

E: Michael.Pullan@britishgas.co.uk

  • Trials to provide insights into the role of vehicle to grid charging, seen as an exciting part of the transition to net zero

  • Energy stored in eligible Nissan electric vehicles used to power homes across the South West, Midlands and South Wales

  • 100 homes set to receive free chargers worth £5,500 to participate in trials

British Gas has joined a trial of Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology, that will see 100 customers road-test the latest EV charging technology.

The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project run by Western Power Distribution, will demonstrate how the storage capacity of electric vehicles can be used to power homes, at times when demand on the national grid is high.

Using the CrowdCharge platform, trial participants will simply need to plug in their electric vehicle at specific times of the day and the rest is done for them. They will receive incentives from British Gas in the form of money off their electricity bill or as a discount on selected Hive product bundles.

Electric Nation is different to other V2G projects because it is using four different energy partners to provide a more realistic simulation of a future world in which many streets will have a number of EVs using V2G chargers. Although customers won’t be able to export power from the vehicles to the grid during the trial, the insights gained will enable this possibility in the future and provide British Gas with a route to opening this service to customers.

EV drivers will inform the CrowdCharge platform when they next need their car and how many miles they will need for the next day. The first priority for CrowdCharge is to ensure these requirements are met. EVs are often plugged in for over 12 hours overnight but may only need an average of one to two hours of charge. This allows considerable time and flexibility to fit in the EV charging overnight.

British Gas’ parent company Centrica has calculated that in order to accommodate the Government’s plans to power every home with offshore wind, as much as 25TWh of electricity will need to be traded flexibly every year - that’s almost double the annual electricity demand of Wales. The company believes that electric vehicles, smart hot water tanks and battery storage will be key to unlocking the Government’s wind power ambitions.

"This trial is all about putting our customers in charge of their energy future. We see a time when our cars, or even the humble hot water tank can be used as an energy store for excess wind or solar power, storage that can then be discharged when the wind isn’t blowing. This not only helps the UK transition to a net zero future but means we can unlock savings for customers and help us all live more sustainably."

Americo Lenza, Portfolio Director for Service & Solutions at British Gas

"A key element of Electric Nation has been to include a diverse range of different energy partners, in order to more realistically simulate the vehicle to grid charging landscape in the future. This is why we’re delighted to have British Gas as an energy partner for the project, and we look forward to discovering participants’ views about the different approaches and tariffs of a range of energy suppliers."

Mike Potter, CEO of CrowdCharge

"We are excited that British Gas has decided to join our project. As the UK’s leading energy supplier British Gas is a key element to understanding how EVs can help us manage our network more flexibly through V2G."

Steven Pinkerton-Clark, Innovation & Low Carbon Networks Engineer for Western Power Distribution

In order to take part in the trial, customers must drive an eligible Nissan electric vehicle, live in the Midlands, South West or South Wales and have off-street parking. Electric Nation will provide all trialists with a free V2G charger, worth around £5,500. Participants must sign up to the British Gas Electric Drivers Jan 2022 tariff for the duration of the customer trial. 

If you are interested in discovering more about this trial, please visit www.electricnation.org.uk for further information.