Claire Miller, Director of Technology and Innovation at Octopus Electric Vehicles, discusses how Vehicle to Grid technology can help transform the transport and energy sectors.
Put simply, Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) is using an electric vehicle’s (EV) battery to provide power to the grid. Octopus’ Powerloop project is one example of V2G in action, and shows that this technology is available to be used now!*
With V2G you’ll be driving a car with zero tailpipe emissions and you’ll be helping make the most of renewable energy, reducing peak grid demand by discharging your car at certain times. Let’s break down the significance of this a bit more.
Firstly, the car. Vehicle emissions from internal combustion engines (ICEs) contributed to 34% of total carbon dioxide emissions in the UK in 2019, with the majority of this coming from road transport. The UK Government recently set the ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels by 2030, and addressing the issues created by transport will be fundamental to achieving this aim. The 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles announced late in November 2020 is indicative of the government’s support for the transition to electric vehicles, and represents the importance of EVs in helping make the transport sector more sustainable.
We’re seeing a huge growth in EV uptake in the UK (185.9% growth in 2020 EV registrations compared to 2019), and with increased financial backing of incentive schemes and an ever expanding public charging network. This uptake is only going to accelerate. On Octopus Electric Vehicles’ Powerloop project participants use the Nissan LEAF, capable of V2G thanks to built in CHAdeMO bi-directional charging capabilities.
Focusing on energy, significant progress is being made in the UK with renewable energy production. 42% of the electricity generated in the UK in 2020 came from renewable sources (overtaking fossil fuels). However, there’s an unpredictability with renewables in terms of production. We can’t control when the wind blows or when the sun shines and therefore we’re not always able to make the most of the renewable energy that’s produced.
We’ve recently started to see the benefits of using dynamic energy tariffs that reflect the true cost of energy generation to encourage more conscious energy consumption. Smart charging is a great example of this, incentivising EV drivers to charge their vehicles overnight when renewable energy from wind is abundant and prices are low.
V2G goes a step further, combining the benefits of using an EV with making use of renewable energy to both charge your car and provide power back to the grid. V2G enables us to store inexpensive green energy, charging up when demand on the grid is low and renewable energy is often high. The energy not used during your daily travelling can be shared back to the energy system, supplying your home and your neighbours, during expensive hours – discharging when demand is high.
Helping decarbonise transport and energy: getting involved in V2G
Powerloop by Octopus Electric Vehicles, in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, UK Power Networks, ENGIE EV Solutions, Open Energi, Guidehouse and our sister company Octopus Energy, is looking for 30 more participants to help prove the value of V2G!
Through the trial, we are looking to develop tech to help V2G become a scalable proposition that can help energy systems worldwide run smoothly on renewable energy.
The Powerloop bundle provides you with everything you need, including a Nissan LEAF and a Wallbox V2G charger – the lightest, smallest domestic V2G charger in the world – which you are free to keep at the end of the trial!
We also recognise that making your EV battery an active energy asset in the grid is extremely valuable. So we will not only give you the tools to do it, explain all the acronyms along the way and help you get everything set up – we will also pay you up to £30/month for making your car battery available at the times the energy system needs it most!**
This is V2G in action: this is Powerloop.
Want to learn more?
We would love to invite you to join our free virtual workshops with our EV Experts to help you understand more about the future of energy and how Powerloop fits into this.
Available for customers that live in the UKPN area, own their home with off-street parking and receive UKPN approval (we’ll apply for this on your behalf). Check if your postcode qualifies here.
Our Powerloop bundle is only available to the first 135 customers.
*Powerloop is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), with Innovate UK acting as delivery partner.
**£30 cashback is credited in the form of Octopus Energy credit onto your account if 12 full cycles are completed in a month (plug in before 6pm, and stay plugged in until at least 5am the next day to complete one cycle). Subject to suitability, availability and credit approval.