(Vehicle to Grid)

Article: CleanTechnica

Volkswagen Bets On Vehicle-To-Grid Technology, UL Approves First V2G Certification
March 13th, 2020 by Steve Hanley

Most people think using the electricity stored in the batteries of electric cars to stabilize the electrical grid is a silly idea. Elon Musk and Tesla say they have considered the idea and rejected it. Today, the only charging standard that theoretically supports vehicle to grid bi-directional charging is CHAdeMO, the charging protocol favored by Nissan. German utility company E.ON is working with Nissan to develop V2G services. The CCS charging standard does not support V2G, although it could if changes to the protocol were made.

Fermata Energy vehicle to grid
Image credit: Fermata Energy

In theory, EV owners can allow utility companies to tap the stored electricity in their batteries. The utility reimburses them for the electricity much the same way it pays customers with rooftop solar systems for any excess electricity generated and fed back into the grid.

Volkswagen sees things differently. On March 12th, Michael Jost, chief strategist for the German car company, told journalists in Berlin that electric car batteries could be used to stabilize the energy grid by charging the battery in times of excess supply and selling electricity back to the grid at times when supplies of electricity from wind and solar power are low, according to a report by The New York Times.

“By 2025 we will have 350 gigawatt hours worth of energy storage at our disposal through our electric car fleet. Between 2025 and 2030 this will grow to 1 terawatt hours worth of storage. That’s more energy than is currently generated by all the hydroelectric power stations in the world. We can guarantee that energy will be used and stored and this will be a new area of business.”

Still, there are lingering questions. Many believe V2G degrades battery performance over time. Others think it could provide electricity to their homes in times when the utility grid is inoperative. [Note: this only works if the home can operate in island mode at such times.] Why spend thousands of dollars for a 13 kWh Tesla Powerwall or other residential storage device when there is a 60 to 100 kWh battery sitting outside in the garage?

UL Approves V2G Standard
Clearly, the future of V2G systems is still unclear.But a piece of the puzzle just fell into place. Underwriters Laboratories has recently created a new standard for V2G systems in North America. Designated UL Standard 9741, the first company to meet the new standard is Fermata Energy of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Francisco Martinez, head of business development for UL’s Energy Systems and eMobility division, tells Yahoo! Finance, “UL’s role in making the most of the stored energy in electric vehicles is to help ensure that this happens safely.”

David Slutzky, CEO of Fermata Energy, adds “By unlocking the full potential of electric vehicles, Fermata Energy is helping to accelerate the shift to more electric vehicle usage. We believe bidirectional energy solutions…..will play an important role in reducing energy costs, improving grid resilience and combating climate change. We’re excited to be the first company to receive UL 9741 certification and look forward to partnering with other organizations to advance V2G applications.”

V2G is in its infancy today but in 5 years? 10 years? What seems out there on the edge of probability today could become mainstream. The concept makes a lot of sense but that doesn’t mean it is commercially viable — yet.

Ross1 | 13 marzo 2020

Tesla killers, V2G.

greg | 14 marzo 2020

V2V is even more useful in some cases than V2G

No one except Rivian have supported that.

I suspect Tesla won't budge on not supporting either until they have a viable product. Then it will get the official seal of approval.

Yodrak. | 15 marzo 2020

"In theory, EV owners can allow utility companies to tap the stored electricity in their batteries. The utility reimburses them for the electricity much the same way it pays customers with rooftop solar systems for any excess electricity generated and fed back into the grid."

Utilities would want to tap the stored energy in an EV for the same reason and in the same way that they and independent power producers are starting to propose battery storage systems in conjunction with solar farms and, less often, wind farms. It isn't primarily for the energy, so payment schemes are not comparable to paying customers with solar panels for excess energy.

With the decline of high-mass rotating turbine-generators, driven by fossil fuels and nuclear sources, which have a lot of stored kinetic energy, electronically controlled batteries can provide ancillary services that are required to keep voltage and frequency steady and the electric system stable.

Low-mass wind-driven turbine generators, and
no-mass solar cells, can contribute some, but relatively little via their electronic systems. Batteries with their electronic controls can provide the required ancillary services even instantaneously and smooth over the volatile output of wind and solar generation.

How to pay for those ancillary services, which came as an integral part of the electrical output of traditional generators, is a subject that is being wrestled with by the utilities, the Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) that most utilities are members of, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Some RTOs are further ahead than others in proposing tariffs to the FERC to establish the value of ancillary service and prices to be paid for ancillary services that are just and reasonable.

Ross1 | 15 marzo 2020

Correct me if wrong (you will whether or not lol), didnt Roadster 1 have V2G?
Wasnt it pulled because it reduces the battery life, therefore the 8 year warranty was an issue.
Isnt Nissan proposing the Big Leaf (60?) has V2G plus an 8 yr battery warranty?

Earl and Nagin ... | 15 marzo 2020

I can confirm that Roadster 1 did NOT have V2G.
Yes, Nissan has talked about it but I haven't seen anything real.
As others have pointed out: That's extra wear and tear on ones' expensive battery.
I can see it on an old battery who's life is too short for cars but still has significant capacity left for grid storage.

NKYTA | 15 marzo 2020

Just saw a pretty Roadster I at Gilroy the other day.

Confirmed that it is too small for me plus my golf clubs.

Did I say pretty ;-) | 16 marzo 2020

@NKYTA - Take the top off, and store the clubs in the passenger seat!

It is very low as are similar sports cars. I found it very hard to get in and out of. Good design for 20 year-olds, but not so great for us older folk :) Hoping the Roadster 2 is higher. Likely new Roadster is beyond my fun budget and dooms any serious ideas about getting one.