Nissan has been partnering with a variety of players for years on vehicle-to-grid pilot projects. I’m not sure what exactly is “pilot” about them at this point, except perhaps that the partners are new and they want to see how things work for themselves. There are also a variety of different ways that you can use the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) connection, but they mostly involve EVs taking electricity when its in low demand (charging at those times) and sending it back to the grid at times of high electricity demand (if plugged in).
Let’s dive into a new partnership between Nissan, E.ON, Newcastle University, Imperial College London, Northern Powergrid, UK Power Networks, and National Grid ESO — with Nissan and E.ON forming the core of the partnership. The consortium is named e4Future. (Interestingly, Nissan and E.ON partnered a couple of years ago on a V2G project in Denmark.)
So far, Nissan and E.ON have deployed 20 V2G chargers to get a sense for how fleets of electric cars and vans could support the UK electricity grid in a financially sensible way for both those business fleets and the grid.
Electricity from the batteries in these electric vehicles can be sent back to the grid when electricity demand is high. When electricity demand is low and/or renewable energy supply is high, they can buy back that electricity at a cheaper price.
So, this offers an opportunity to both make money and help cut emissions.
There may be further options for customers to make money via the technology as well, which UK Power Networks is helping to look into. Perhaps some form of gamification will be involved.
While I started off by saying that there have been many V2G pilot projects over the years, the interesting news with this one is that it’s aimed at genuinely becoming a commercial offering.
“Now that we’ve proven the technology’s capabilities with these 20 installs, we’re a step closer to bringing it to market. This is about commercialising a vehicle’s bi-directional charging capabilities, with clear advantages for businesses either already with a fleet of electric vehicles or those that are ready to make the transition to electric, and demonstrates how E.ON is providing solutions for customers that will help make the air cleaner,” Luke Ellis, V2G Programme Manager with E.ON UK, said.
This pilot project is being partially funded by Innovate UK, which is heavily subsidizing the V2G package for organizations participating in the trial.
It is also receiving funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Have a business fleet in the UK and want to be involved? Email V2G@eonenergy.com
Images courtesy Nissan