LONDON – The U.K.’s first domestic-level vehicle-to-grid (V2G) service has been launched in a bid to make electric vehicle ownership more attractive.
DriveElectric, a leading provider of leased ultra-low-emissions vehicles, is making the V2G service available to EV drivers both at home and at the workplace.
V2G charging is meant to let EV owners provide energy from their vehicle batteries to the grid at peak times, with the owners receiving rewards based on the provision of grid services and energy-trading revenue.
The system may appeal only to hardcore EV users because with the cost of V2G chargers at between £8,000-£9,500 ($10,800-$12,800) and potential annual earnings for users of just £300-£800 ($400-$1,080), paying back the initial outlay will take years.
Nonetheless, the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese manufacturer Nichicon to sell and operate the V2G chargers in the U.K.
“It’s the first time this has ever been done in the U.K.,” Mike Potter, managing director-DriveElectric says, “and by enabling customers to sell energy back to the grid, becoming fully fledged and active participants in the U.K. energy market, we’re providing a financial incentive to choose the sustainable option.”
The V2G service is part of the company’s commitment to support EVs in the U.K. beyond the acquisition of the car itself.
DriveElectric’s CrowdCharge platform claims it will connect and manage large numbers of EV batteries using V2G chargers to act as one large battery to support the grid. This could help avoid the need for nonrenewable sources of power to be used at times of peak energy demand.
The CrowdCharge platform, developed in conjunction with the University of Reading, uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide optimized charging sessions for EV owners. The service will be available for CHAdeMO-equipped EVs such as the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Kia Soul EV in summer to fall 2018.