In the years to come, electric cars might be the answer to powering millions of households by harnessing their battery power. Rather than being stored, the electricity in the car’s battery can be connected back into the grid. Research will assist in understanding how to best employ the technology in the UK, which was pioneered in Japan.

Most electric vehicles (EVs) are being built with the capability of sending power back to the energy grid to which they are connected. Whether that’s the owner’s home or the electrical grid in general, governments and electric car manufacturers have led the way in developing these technologies, mostly to balance demand on the grid or power transmission network.

The capacity to use these massive connected batteries is consistent with the future management and allocation of cleaner grids. Rather than generating electricity by burning fossil fuels, there should be a plan to harness clean renewable sources such as solar and wind when they are abundant and store the electricity in batteries when they are not. As a result, we may reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by charging electric automobiles with renewable energy.  

The Dinorwig Power Station
The Dinorwig Power Station, known locally as Electric Mountain or Mynydd Gwefru.
How to make it happen

On a technical level, three things must happen before autos can power the grid. To begin, two-way power transmission from the vehicle to the charging station must be made available. The vehicle-to-grid method was initially implemented in Japan during the Fukushima tragedy and subsequent power outage.

However, further research and development are required before the technique can be widely used. Installation of car-to-grid charging gear at home, vehicle compatibility, and energy changes in the market are among them. There are two sorts of quick charge equipment that will have to be addressed, possibly with units that contain both types of connectors.  

The final piece of the technical problem is securing electricity distribution network support. Because some areas of the grid can’t handle a large volume of electricity being dumped back via the connections at the very same time, local networks must be capable of handling it. 

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power
On 11 March 2011, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated northeastern Japan and triggered a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power.
Driver engagement

How will they ensure that people participate in the system once the tech is in place? They are looking into customer acceptance and knowledge of vehicle-to-grid systems in order to demonstrate to drivers how the technology works and avoid them from running out of power when they’re required. 

Many trials are currently being conducted by energy firms and power distribution businesses, who are interested in learning how the technology works commercially and how it may assist balance the power grid. However, there is the feeling that attention must also be paid to cost savings, environmental credentials, as well as driver convenience.

Reduced environmental impact, reduced gasoline expenses, and the ability to power your home with inexpensive, clean energy are all excellent advantages, but depleted car batteries can lead to a lot of angry owners.

Other issues include:

  • The cost of installing appropriate V2G chargers at home
  • The effects on lifestyle
  • The inconveniences of delayed plug-in electric vehicle charging (if the car is also powering the house)
  • The risk of battery degradation (there is research that indicates this is justified, but the potential benefits outweigh it)

Ofgem, the UK’s electricity and gas regulator, plans to invest millions of pounds on a more flexible energy system to assist vehicle electrification and renewable energy generation. This is while also making the transition to a low-carbon economy more fair, inclusive, and affordable.