THE ability for electric vehicles to contribute positively to the grid is to be trialled by Electric Nation, which previously ran a similar smart charging project.

The trial is recruiting Nissan Leaf owners in the Midlands, South West and South Wales – the area covered by Western Power Distribution (WPD).

While smart charging can help lessen the demand on the grid, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging takes this a step further.

V2G has the ability to link EVs and put significant combined levels of electricity back into the grid at peak times, acting like a huge decentralised power station. This will help to reduce the grid’s need for additional energy generation, either through fossil fuels or renewable energy, during high demand periods.

When demand reduces, power flows back into the batteries of the linked electric cars.

It is anticipated that V2G charging will help transform the image of EVs: from grid capacity challenge to additional energy source.

Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid is the customer-facing brand of Electric Nation PoweredUp, a Western Power Distribution (WPD) and Network Innovation Allowance funded project. WPD’s collaboration partner in the project is CrowdCharge – which is run by Mike Potter of Marlow-based leasing broker DriveElectric.

Potter explained:

“Vehicle to grid charging is a great concept, but it hasn’t yet been trialled sufficiently on Britain’s electricity networks to enable it to be rolled out on a country-wide basis – hence the need for this project. This trial will study the real-world effects of V2G and look to provide a smart solution to provide management of electric vehicle charging. The project can provide an important insight into how the market and the Distribution Network Operators can operate for maximum benefit for all customers.”

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