Last updated on 16 September 2019
And what if electric cars could be used to store electricity, as well as carrying us around? This is the idea of 'vehicle-to-grid' or V2G.
This technical concept is based on the idea of using the batteries in parked electric cars in both directions and with flexibility to:
The electricity grid must always stay in balance, otherwise you get blackouts. With the development of renewable energies, with very variable production, management of this balance has become more and more complex.
In other words, V2G is one solution, among others, so that we can make the most of the renewable electricity that is produced and better manage fluctuations on the electricity grid.
In 2040 there will be between 900,000 and 2.5 million electric vehicles in Belgium alone. This is what a study by Elia, the Belgian transmission system operator, reveals.
However, we know that cars, whether electric or not, spend much more time parked than driving around. We would end up with hundreds of thousands of electric cars parked for one hour or a whole night.
Connected to their terminal and with a full battery, these cars would therefore make up a huge reserve of electricity. The potential of "wheeled storage" is therefore very real.
Many projects are at a study stage around the world, including, close to home, in Amsterdam. However, it will still be a few years before this technology is mature enough and can be used.
To work properly, vehicle-to-grid must consider:
Car batteries do, in fact, gradually lose their capacity. After a few years, this capacity is no longer sufficient to provide enough autonomy for a car, but the battery’s performance is still sufficient to power a building’s electrical system.
It is therefore expected that a secondary market will develop for 'retired' car batteries as home batteries.
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