What is Vehicle-to-Grid – and what does it mean for my electric car?
With Vehicle-to-Grid, or V2G, your electric car can potentially make money while sitting still. Read how it will take place in our guide.
Electric cars can do a lot – and have the potential for even more. For example, they can “sell” the energy that is in their batteries when they are standing still, and in that way make money for their owners.
And if you use True Energy’s app, it can all happen automatically and as cheaply and climate-friendly as possible.
In short, it is one of the key advantages of the Vehicle-to-Grid technology that many are currently talking about. But what exactly is Vehicle-to-Grid?
In our guide, you can find answers to the question of when you can expect Vehicle-to-Grid to really take off and much more
What is Vehicle-to-Grid?
Today, you can think of the connection between an electric car and the power grid as a one-way street that goes from grid to car.
With Vehicle-to-Grid technology or Danish electric car to the grid (often abbreviated to V2G), traffic can suddenly go both ways. The battery of electric cars can be charged and discharged (power is sent from the battery into the grid) based on various signals – such as energy production, consumption or price.
V2G should not be confused with a number of other terms such as:
V2H (Vehicle-to-Home): Solutions that make it possible to use electricity from electric car batteries to power devices in the home.
V2B (Vehicle-to-Building): Similar to V2H, but covers a wider range and includes, for example, operation of larger buildings’ electrical installations.
V2X (Vehicle-to-X or electric car-to-everything): Power from electric cars is used in all possible contexts.
What are the benefits of Vehicle-to-Grid for you as an electric car owner?
Most cars are stationary more than 90% of the time. Vehicle-to-Grid makes it possible for your electric car to work for you, so to speak, when it is not in use.
A practical example is that the car can be charged when the electricity price is lowest. You can of course already do that with True Energy’s app, but with V2G the power in the car’s battery can be sold back to the grid if and when there is a need for it.
What are the benefits of Vehicle-to-Grid for society and electricity production?
In V2G, the charging and discharging of electric car batteries is controlled based on the needs of the users and the situation of the electricity grid (including electricity supply and the balance of the grid).
Optimization and adjustment can be done continuously, thanks to the extra energy capacity that the batteries provide. This opens up a number of advantages:
Optimizing the efficiency of renewable energy, as excess production can be “stored” in the batteries.
Lower infrastructure costs and less need for expensive expansions of the electricity grid.
Better stability in the electricity grid, as fluctuations in production and consumption can be smoothed out more easily, so that the risk of overloading is reduced. Development of the possibilities and business cases for electric cars and other electric vehicles. Cheap and fast energy storage. Reduction of climate impact from electricity production and consumption.
How much can you as an electric car owner earn from Vehicle-to-Grid?
Selling power from your car’s battery back to the grid can be a good extra income, and can help make it even more fun to be an electric car owner.
Exactly how much there may be is still difficult to say.
A study in England showed that an electric car owner who had the car connected to the electricity grid at least 75% of the time could earn around DKK 3,000 – 4,000 per year by participating in V2G.
A pilot project with electric vans had somewhat better results. Here, each van could earn around DKK 10,000 on an annual basis.
Much of V2G’s potential will depend on the price development for electricity. More and more renewable energy is coming into the electricity grid. This means that energy prices may fluctuate more. This is one of the things that suggests that earnings from participation in V2G schemes may increase in the coming years.
What is the potential of Vehicle-to-Grid?
In 2030, there will be between 140 and 240 million electric cars on the roads. It is equal to at least 140 million mobile energy storages with a total capacity of around 7 TWh. For comparison, it roughly corresponds to the total production from all wind turbines in Denmark for half a year.
In other words, there is great potential for using electric cars as an active part of the electricity grid.
A study from ABI Research states that V2G can mean a power discount of 15% for you as the consumer and at the same time save the energy companies over ten billion kroner already before 2025.
Do we have Vehicle-to-Grid today?
However, the figures from ABI Research must be taken with a grain of salt.
In short, we do not have V2G today.
There have been a large number of trials, and many of them have several years of results to draw on. You can see a list of the projects here.
One of the projects takes place in Denmark. The smart energy company Nuvve has a commercial agreement with Frederiksberg Forsyning. Its fleet of 43 electric vans supplies frequency regulation to Energinet when their plugs are connected to charging equipment and thus the electricity grid.
What are the biggest challenges for Vehicle-to-Grid?
One of the biggest challenges for V2G is that the solutions in many places do not fall under existing legislation, regulations and control authorities. One area where this can lead to challenges is in relation to energy tariffs for V2G.
How are they to be settled, for example, if power flows from a car’s battery into the grid to ensure balance and supply?
That type of question is still unanswered in many places.
Similar challenges confront insurance and warranty schemes. Under current rules, V2G can cost the warranty on electric car batteries due to the extra charging and discharging. At the same time, there is limited basis for calculations of how an electric car, including batteries, must be insured and when it is a question of justified insurance or excessive use.
Here we come to the technical challenges. In addition to the fact that several charging cycles for V2G can lead to faster deterioration of the battery’s performance. V2G also requires two-way chargers, of which there are not many on the market today. In addition, V2G requires a different connection to the network than the one many homes and businesses have now.
Which electric cars are ready for Vehicle-to-Grid?
There is a long way between electric cars that can handle V2G. However, more and more brands are gradually getting ready. This applies, for example, to Volvo (the upcoming EX90) and VW.
Nissan and Mitsubishi are the brands that have gone ahead. Several models from both brands (including the Nissan Leaf) are V2G-ready.
Tesla owners will probably have to wait longer for V2G. Leading Tesla representatives have previously questioned the value of V2G.
How close are we to Vehicle-to-Grid?
With the above challenges in mind, it may come as a surprise that we expect to see V2G really take off within three to five years.
The reasons are, among other things, that as part of the green transition to renewable energy as the primary energy source. We have a great need to find new ways to ensure electricity production and balance in the grid. Otherwise, we run the risk that breakdowns will either occur and there will be a need for massive, expensive expansions of the electricity infrastructure.
As electric car owners, there is also an incentive to make the car available and earn money from it when it is not in use.
The counterarguments include that the technology and regulations still need to be up to speed.
But when we look at how quickly the capacity expansion of car batteries has gone, how electric cars in general have developed at rocket speed, and the strong focus on the green transition, we believe that there are grounds for optimism.
What about True Energy and Vehicle-to-Grid?
True Energy’s solutions for charging electric cars are designed for the electricity grid of the future. Put a little differently, our solutions are ready to support V2G as soon as it becomes a reality.
Read more about V2G