It's time to start thinking of electric vehicles as energy sinks on wheels, according to a new report published by National Grid and tech consultants Ricardo. The study says EV owners could make money by providing power to grid operators and utilities during times of peak demand.
There are two ways it can be done. The cheaper approach is simple: an EV owner just plugs in his or her car when electricity demand is lowest (usually overnight), and gets a modest annual sum as a result. The report says that the UK's fleet of plug-in EVs could provide up to 10% of the grid’s energy balancing requirements in the evenings and overnight, and 6% during the day.
In the other option, known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G), EVs actually communicate directly with the power grid. The V2G approach reverses the energy path by feeding power from the car’s battery back into power lines at times of peak demand. Compared to the simple recharge delay option, V2G would generate way more cash per vehicle. The catch is cost. V2G interface technology would be so expensive as to make it economic only for owners of large EV fleets.
Either way, getting paid to drive a cleaner car and help ease electricity needs sounds pretty sweet to us.
(via Green Futures)
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