- British Gas has been part of Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project alongside Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge
- Trial found electric vehicles can provide a nationwide battery resource which can store green energy and feed electricity back into the grid during times of peak demand
- EV owners could be rewarded for providing such a service to the grid
A trial which saw 100 drivers across the Midlands, South West England and South Wales use their electric vehicles to power their homes and the local grid has successfully concluded.
Electric Nation, an Innovation project of Western Power Distribution (WPD), in partnership with CrowdCharge, has demonstrated that EV drivers can reduce their energy bills by using vehicle to grid charging.
Uniquely, the Electric Nation V2G trial had a number of electricity providers and tariffs, including British Gas, and was able to show how tariffs influence charging behaviour.
"Vehicle 2 Grid is one way that we can make sure we maximise the potential for renewables, storing it when the wind blows and utilising it when conditions change"
Jenny Hunter, Residential Smart Energy Propositions lead at British Gas
The project has proven that vehicle to grid charging works both from a technical point of view, and from the perspective of customer acceptance. It has also shown that EV owners can charge at off-peak times when energy is cheaper and greener, and by using V2G, they can sell this energy back into the grid, or use it in their home, to help minimise energy demand at peak times. This can help take the stress off the electricity grid and enable low-cost renewable energy to be used in the home when grid prices and the carbon content of electricity are high.
Participants who also had solar panels were able to charge their EVs with free 100% renewable energy. The trial allowed participants to transfer this green energy from the EV to the home at peak times, so further reducing demand on the grid.
Roger Hey, WPD’s Electricity System Manager, comments: “Vehicle to grid charging doubles the amount of flexibility in the electricity system, although in reality it brings even greater benefit because it also allows us to use the same unit of energy multiple times through charge/discharge cycles.
“V2G has enormous potential to reduce the amount of new electricity network that we build and can contribute towards optimising the whole energy system in Britain, ultimately needing less generating capacity and reserve.”
Mike Potter, CEO, CrowdCharge, adds: “The Electric Nation V2G project has shown that households can save money on energy bills by using vehicle to grid charging, especially if they have solar panels. However there is also an opportunity for commercial fleets to take advantage of this technology in order to help lower their carbon footprint and achieve their Net Zero goals.”
"V2G has enormous potential to reduce the amount of new electricity network that we build and can contribute towards optimising the whole energy system"
Roger Hey, WPD’s Electricity System Manager
Currently, only Nissan EVs can be used for V2G charging due to their CHAdeMO technology. The majority of EVs have the CCS charging system, which is due to be V2G-compatible by 2025; from that point V2G should be possible for all EVs.
Jenny Hunter, Residential Smart Energy Propositions lead at British Gas, said, “In the last year, grid operators paid over £140m to wind farm owners to shut down. We have to find a smarter way of utilising those wasted green electrons. Vehicle 2 Grid is one way that we can make sure we maximise the potential for renewables, storing it when the wind blows and utilising it when conditions change.”
The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid end of project report will be available soon. For more information about the project visit www.electricnation.org.uk
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