Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has immense potential as more electric vehicles hit the road. EV chargers and the technology behind connectors have evolved as automakers work with tech leaders, charging companies, and utility companies to allow their vehicles to be used for more than zero-emission driving.
EV batteries have incredible storage ability, which is a significant advantage as countries move to renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar hold incredible value, but they also come with hurdles.
For one thing, wind and solar cannot be produced on demand, making storage solutions essential. Although the transition will require more transmission capacity, electric vehicles offer a unique solution.
Elia is Belgium’s high voltage transmission operator, maintaining electricity supply and demand. The company believes electric vehicles can be a key asset for balancing the grid, referring to them as “batteries on wheels.”
Volkswagen is joining Elia’s mission as the automaker accelerates its transition to sustainable transportation and explores how V2G technology can help integrate EVs for a superior energy grid.
Volkswagen, Elia agree on plans to integrate V2G into the grid
Over the next few years, Volkswagen, Elli (VW’s energy and charging division), Elia, and its startup re.alto will explore the benefits of V2G integration and the potential challenges that come along with it.
According to the press release, VW’s new partnership aims to show how electric vehicle drivers “will be able to charge their EVs when there are high amounts of renewable energy” available on the grid and “inject the electricity stored in the EVs back into the grid when it needs it most” with V2G technology.
Elli’s CEO, Elke Temme, talks of the benefits of using bi-directional power, stating:
An essential key to achieving climate neutrality lies in linking of the energy and mobility sectors. Using the electric vehicle battery as a mobile power bank delivers a triple benefit: Firstly, the climate benefits as renewable energy can be stored and therefore be used more efficiently; secondly, the electric grid benefits, as the car can contribute toward grid stability, and thirdly, the customer can earn additional revenue with vehicle-to-grid services. To explore the benefits of this consumer-centric approach, this cooperation with Elia Group is crucial for us.”
The technology, when deployed properly, can benefit all parties involved. With less stress on the energy grid, utility companies can offer lower rates to consumers. On top of this, for sending energy back when it’s needed most, EV drivers can earn incentives.
Volkswagen and its partners will focus on four critical areas that would lead to the successful integration of V2G, including:
- Price signals (incentives) – Exploring ways to incentivize EV drivers to use their vehicles to store and send energy back to the grid.
- Market design – Working to remove barriers preventing EV owners from being able to choose their energy supplier.
- Trusted data – EVs must have some verification process to plug into the grid for security purposes.
- Secure connectivity – Ensuring the connection is secure and any data transferred is safe.
For V2G to work on a wide scale, Volkswagen and its partners recognize these critical factors must be addressed first.