Kia Soul EVs Used In UC Irvine Vehicle-To-Grid Trial

Originally published on EV Obsession.

A newly expanded partnership with the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, was recently announced by Kia Motors America and Hyundai America Technical Center through a press release.

The partnership will see the organizations work together to develop and trial vehicle-to-grid (V2G) advanced smart charging software algorithms, according to the press release. Kia Motors America will be providing 6 Soul EVs to the partnership, for use in the development and trialling.

Kia Soul EV White

“Grid-connected electric vehicles offer tremendous potential in terms of energy storage and dispersion during high-demand periods, and Kia is excited to collaborate with APEP in the study and development of advanced smart grid technologies,” commented Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning at Kia Motors America. “Kia’s green car roadmap calls for a dramatic expansion of electrified vehicles over the next five years, and we are proud of the role the Soul EV will play in helping UCI’s students and faculty develop new and better advanced smart charging technologies.”

“Vehicle-to-grid defines a system which enables battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) to communicate with the power grid for bi-directional power flow while being grid-connected. This enables the vehicles to serve as energy storage to help manage energy demand,” the press release explains, in case you hadn’t read about V2G technology before.

“Demonstration and evaluation of Soul EVs will increase understanding of how BEVs are managed on the electric grid, while identifying challenges and solutions for V2G deployment. Additionally, this test program will help predict BEV and PHEV charging behavior and further understanding of their impact on the grid.”

Scott Samuelsen, Director of Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP), added: “The rapidly evolving coupling of vehicles and the electric grid requires planning based on informed decisions supported by the market-based, systems analyses provided by the Kia/APEP program.”

James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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6 thoughts on “Kia Soul EVs Used In UC Irvine Vehicle-To-Grid Trial

  • JB Straubel, in the interview posted on Cleantechnica in the past couple weeks presented a clear case as to why vehicle to grid is unlikely to catch on or make sense. In a nutshell, the cost of vehicle battery degradation is far too high to use it for that purpose and that technology specifically designed for grid application makes more sense.

    • I could make sense, if, as they do in Japan, they use lithium titanate. Cycle life is over 10,000, and so you actually have to figure out some way of using those cycles if you want to get your money out. They use them in the mitusbishi Imiev cars in Japan although, not in U.S. versions. They could be awfully handy in giant grid blackouts from earthquakes, and tsunami’s or hurricane Sandy type events.

      • JBs point was that vehicle batteries and stationary batteries are optimized for different objectives. Trying to combine that turns out to waste money and forfeit performance. Better to have separate systems.

  • I would want the capability to use my EV as a battery backup for my own home. It would only be used very rarely if ever but would be the perfect backup option capable of holding very significant amount of energy. Hopefully this vehicle-grid/home capability will continue to mature for home use otherwise as already mentioned by other commenters the batteries in EV’s are not ideal for constant charge/discharge grid use would demand.

  • I am in love with my KIA Soul EV+ what a fantastic vehicle- I call it the EWolf

  • The title says UC Davis, but the article describes the project as being at UC Irvine.

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