V2G: put to the challenge at Everything EV

Recently, the E-Flex project featured at the Everything EV conference, which was held in London on April 2 – 3, 2019.

Maria Christopher, Project Manager with lead partner Cisco, took delegates through the London-based innovation project’s core aims and objectives. 

And it was a well-timed call for trialists – speakers and panellists repeatedly grappled with the proposition’s value and if there was really a place for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies. 

V2G allows Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries to be both charged and discharged within carefully-controlled parameters. It allows charging costs to be minimised and enables vehicle owners to even earn money, all whilst providing a fully-charged EV whenever needed.

The Tuesday crowd was a sceptical one, strongly challenging the value of V2G.

However, as our heading was ‘the EV charging network that can futureproof the grid’, we were inviting these challenges.

One key point of contention was the belief that V2G applications were limited to certain fleet scenarios and other niche cases, hence, were not worth the mainstream media hype they had garnered. 

It was also noted that the current infrastructure is capital-intensive, making the business case harder to stack-up at present.

Wednesday’s audience was, however, more positive. 

It was felt by many present that V2G allowed EVs to become extensions of our energy system, which has inherent value in itself.

Sweating battery assets when EVs are stationary would increase that value, further improving its advantages over petrol or diesel cars when it comes to the cost of ownership.

Quantified savings can be made ‘behind the meter’ as demand is lowered and facilities managers begin to witness their energy bills drop. 

The diversity of views exhibited at this event illustrate why E-Flex is such an important inclusion to these kinds of discussions.

And by providing free infrastructure, installation and maintenance of V2G technologies for commercial EV fleets in London, businesses can start to explore promising scenarios like these without putting their hard-earned capital on the line. 

The expected benefits to a firm from this added value can be quantified to support future business cases with both evidence and confidence.

And the more of these discussions we have, the more opportunities we have to prove that there is certainly a place for V2G in the right context as a support for the grid.