Review of V2G projects highlights further market potential

A review of European Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) projects highlights the technology’s value beyond the financial benefits for electric vehicle (EV) users, which can boost its market potential.

It found that the traditional model of V2G for revenue generation from energy trading is just one of a range of opportunities for the technology, and that individually targeting the different value propositions identified, those grounded in social and environmental impacts, can widen the potential markets, grow the sector, and, in turn, extend the benefits.

Published by Cenex and funded by Innovate UK to support the ongoing development of the V2G industry in the UK, the review, titled ‘A Fresh Look at V2G Value Propositions’, assessed nine European V2G projects and investigated novel value propositions using focus group evaluation and critique by an expert panel.

The key value propositions identified, alongside Revenue-Generating Energy Trading, are: Resilience; Personal Net Zero/Self Sufficiency; Benefit to Society; and Enhanced Battery Management.

V2G technology was found to be capable of significantly reducing energy system greenhouse gas emissions, ensure energy resilience in the event of power outages, and prolong EV battery life – all of which will appeal to different market niches and will have knock-on environmental and social benefits on the quality of life for today’s consumers and future generations.

The review also offers recommendations for existing R&D projects, EV and V2G manufacturers and policy makers, such as providing lower lease prices in line with extended vehicle life and establishing a V2G working group to unify future developments.

Chris Cox, Head of energy infrastructure at Cenex, said: “Consumers are interested in making sustainability-led lifestyle choices if they feel that they will benefit wider society. Finding effective ways of marketing V2G to address the needs of specific niche groups will be critical to capturing these market segments.

“V2G is a technology with huge potential, but which recently has been reduced down to a tool for making money from energy trading. This study does a great job of re-considering the true potential of the technology and sets out some new and exciting opportunities. Hopefully this will be music to the ears of organisations in the smart home, EV and energy industries and I hope that this will bring fresh life and interest to the technology.”

Dr Marco Landi, Innovation Lead – Vehicle-to-Grid & EV Charging at Innovate UK, added: “Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) is a concept that has been technically proven for some time, and has great potential for future commercial applications. The UK – thanks to an OLEV and BEIS funded Innovate UK programme – has been a world leader in V2G technologies.

“Current V2G proposition focuses heavily on the financial compensation for the services V2G technologies provide to the wider energy network. With more OEMs working on V2G and V2G technologies expected to go mainstream by year 2026, it is necessary to gain a better understanding of the full range of advantages and benefits that vehicle to grid can determine.

“This report by Cenex can be a powerful tool for businesses, policy makers and researchers to add further perspective into the V2G development and commercialisation as they navigate the possibilities this sector offers.”

V2G Value Propositions:

Revenue-Generating Energy Trading – using the electric vehicle as an energy storage asset for financial reward. The majority of existing V2G projects have tested this value proposition.

Resilience – the concept of V2G expanded rapidly in Japan as a means of ensuring electricity supply following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and ensuing rolling blackouts.

Personal Net Zero/Self Sufficiency – this environmentally focused value proposition helps the user to optimise self-consumption of energy generated by on-site renewable energy technologies such as small-scale wind and solar PV.

Benefit to Society – engaging with V2G for altruistic reasons; doing your bit for the greater good of helping to solve wider society’s environmental challenges.

Extended Battery Management – preserving the health of an EV’s lithium-ion battery is vital. Multiple benefits can be realised by maintaining an acceptable capacity and power over its lifetime.

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