Insights / What is Vehicle to Grid charging?

What is Vehicle to Grid charging?

2nd March 2021

Sales of petrol and diesel vehicles will be phased out after 2030. Electric Vehicles (EVs) and their hybrid counterparts are expected to become the norm, with sales and registrations of EVs climbing year-on-year.

Businesses with significant fleets should be thinking about the impact of these upcoming changes and what it means for them. And aside from the vehicles, there’s a range of EV charging options.

While EVs offer the chance to shift to cleaner transport, we shouldn’t just be thinking about them as cars.

We’re looking at EVs as electric assets that can transform how businesses use energy and supercharge your sustainability agenda. Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology is how to bring this from concept to practice.

What is Vehicle to Grid charging? - Hero Image

What does Vehicle to Grid mean?

Vehicle to Grid (V2G) is shorthand for what is more accurately called bidirectional charging. Bidirectional charging is the two-way flow of energy: from grid to vehicle, or vehicle to grid.

This means that EVs can draw power from the energy network, but can also send power back to the grid when needed. This turns EVs into miniature, moving power stations, and offers a look at the potential benefits EVs can deliver in the future.

As renewable generation has come to make up a greater share of the energy mix, the network is increasingly being flooded with clean, low-cost electricity. EVs can be used to store this power, sending it back to the grid when it’s needed - when demand is higher, for example.

EVs can effectively act as stationary batteries at these times, offering grid and price stability.

In the near future - when EVs and V2G technology become the standard - Drax EV customers can benefit from this in two ways.

How can Vehicle to Grid benefit me or my business?

Historically, fleet vehicles have generated revenue only while operational. What V2G technology offers, in principle, is the opportunity for fleets to generate revenue in their downtime, as well as their operational hours.

Most cars - including business fleets - are unused for 12 or more hours each day. V2G technology means you can charge your fleet when energy prices are low, either overnight or when there’s lots of renewable energy on the network.

When the grid’s under stress from high demand, your bidirectional charger can send power back to the network. This can help to reduce the carbon intensity of the network, by providing stored renewable energy instead of relying on fossil fuels.

In principle, businesses could also potentially generate additional revenue through providing grid stability services.

When you choose Drax as your EV partner, we’ll help you at every step of the way. We’ll optimise your charging scheduling so you can charge your fleet at the best time for the lowest cost. We’ll also help you to explore the commercial viability of V2G in providing stability system services to the grid.

We’re in the driving seat

We’ve recently installed a V2G charger at our Ipswich office to help us develop our understanding of the operational and technical feasibility of these technologies, and their benefits.

Our Ipswich office - with LED lighting, solar panels, battery storage, and an EV capable of bi-directional charging - is what we expect the average commercial property to look like within the next 10 to 15 years.

By trialling these technologies in tandem, we’re beginning to understand how they can work together. And everything that we learn on the way will help us to understand and support our customers - now, and in the future.

To find out more about our electric vehicle solutions, contact our EV team today.

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