Back two-way EV charging technology to slash costs and emissions, white paper urges

Nissan's Leaf (pictured) and e-NV200 models are both capable of vehicle-to-grid charging

Nissan’s Leaf (pictured) and e-NV200 models are both capable of vehicle-to-grid charging

Vehicle-to-grid charging technology can deliver power system cost savings of almost £900m while helping slash the carbon intensity of electric vehicles, a new white paper backed by BEIS and EV manufacturer Nissan argues

Innovative technology enabling electric vehicles (EVs) to both give and take electricity from the grid can help cut costs and emissions and drive progress towards the UK’s climate goals, according to a new industry-backed white paper published this week.

So-called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging technology has the potential to deliver overall power system cost savings of up to £885m per year while cutting EVs’ CO2 emissions by an average of approximately 60 tonnes per year, the paper finds. The research was published yesterday by Nissan, whose Nissan LEAF and e-NV200 are currently the only volume manufactured V2G EVs in the UK, and was researched in partnership with E.ON Drive and Imperial College as part of a research project backed by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

V2G technology allows electricity to flow in both directions to and from EV batteries, allowing energy stored in the battery to be sold back to the grid when demand is high. Vehicles can then charge when demand is low or renewables generation is high, reducing reliance on fossil-fuelled generation and as such providing V2G systems with a key role to play in wider carbon reduction efforts.

Fleet vehicles are often particularly suited to V2G applications, the white paper notes, due to their regular and predictable usage patterns, and the fact that they often return to depots with charging arrays at the end of the working day.

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These combined cost and carbon savings lead the white paper to call for the introduction of incentives to accelerate widespread adoption of V2G charging systems, particularly by businesses.

“There is enormous potential in vehicle-to-grid to deliver huge savings, both in financial terms for electricity system operators and vehicle fleets, and in environmental terms, by significantly cutting CO2 emissions across the UK power system,” said Nissan GB’s managing director Andrew Humberstone.

Nissan, E.ON Drive, and Imperial College are currently partners in a commercial fleet V2G project, named e4Future, funded by BEIS and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, which aims to demonstrate how electric vans and cars can support the UK grid and provide a profitable and sustainable solution for business fleets. In August last year, the project saw the launch of the first large-scale V2G trial, involving 20 chargers installed at Nissan’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield.


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