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Nearly everything you need to know about Vehicle-to-Grid

You’ve probably heard about Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging by now.

From a concept that was originally conceived of back in the 1990s, there are now countless trials and demonstrations of the technology are being carried out in the UK and across the world.

Car manufacturers are now increasingly getting on-board with the idea, with, The VW Group is one example that has said from this year, all their electric cars produced on the MEB electric platform will be capable of bi-directional charging.

After an initial flurry of Google searches in 2012, interest in the topic has grown steadily from 2017 onwards.

But isn’t this technology going to be just too expensive? And will it offer significant benefits over and above smart conventional charging?

Well, it’s true that V2G chargepoints are currently expensive, but costs have fallen dramatically in the last few years and are set to fall further in the coming years as standards evolve and production ramps up.

The Sciurus project last year showed that a V2G chargepoint could earn over £300 per year (or more if offering grid services), so a V2G charger costing you around £4,500 today would take quite some time to pay back.

But one thing that the recent explosion in energy prices here in the UK and Europe has shown us, is that being in control of how and when you use your energy is more important than we thought.

If costs of the technology to continue to fall, then it’s conceivable that after a few years, your V2G unit could be really working for you.

But there’s more to it than just the money.

There are other benefits from using V2G for the individual, the energy system and even society.

V2G can reduce your personal carbon footprint by optimising the use of local solar power production, or aggregated with hundreds of others to provide valuable balancing services to the national electricity grid, or remove the need for other larger generation or storage assets to be built.

It’s not all plain sailing though of course.

Hardware availability, compatibility and policy and regulations all have to align to make it work.

So, as you can see there is a lot more to understanding V2G than can be contained in a short article like this.

The good news is that Cenex have put together a free course that covers V2G in depth.

The V2G experts have been involved in V2G charging research projects since 2016, and have compiled all the learnings, findings and results into a FutureLearn course for you to explore.

The course covers:

  • What V2G charging is, how it works and what it can do.
  • Explore why is V2G charging a good idea. Looking at the possible value propositions for the technology, bringing in customers’ views and alternative solutions.
  • An overview of the progress of V2G charging globally, and case studies from recent projects.
  • A roadmap for V2G charging, including a discussion of market readiness, barriers and examples of making a business out of V2G charging.

Sign up for the FutureLearn course: Vehicle-to-Grid Charging for Electric Cars