Electric car pioneer launches startup focused on EV-grid link
Katie Fehrenbacher, March 6, 2012 (GigaOm)
"…[EV pioneer] Tom Gage, the former CEO of AC Propulsion — the quiet shop behind the Tesla Roadster drive train, the electric Mini and the eBox — left AC Propulsion late last year…[and] formed EV Grid to work on so-called “vehicle to grid,” or V2G, technology, which involves using software and hardware to create a bi-directional flow from the power grid to the electric car battery. Utilities and power companies can use V2G to manage groups of electric cars plugged into their grids, and those aggregated vehicle charges can be used as on-demand energy storage, and for helping balance the grid load when needed.
"The power grid is in a constant state of flux, and utilities routinely have to manage supply and demand to keep the grid balanced…[D]ozens of electric vehicles plugged into the grid, and managed properly, could provide [energy storage] services. At the same time, utilities could pay the car owners involved in these projects, and the car owners could recoup some of the cost of electric cars, which are still pretty expensive."
"Gage…[has] been working on V2G tech for years at AC Propulsion…EV Grid’s main partner right now is the University of Delaware and NRG Energy, which together created a joint venture called eV2g to build a pilot V2G project, which will be one of the largest of its kind in the U.S., and the world…[It] already has six or seven electric fleet vehicles using V2G in the program and by the end of the year hopes to build out that fleet to dozens, or even a hundred, cars…Gage and EV Grid will work on the vehicle side of the grid, installing hardware and software in the cars to enable management of the two-way flow. eV2g will develop the grid side commands, which will manage the vehicle charges.
"It’s still very early…[A] report from Pike Research [predicted] only about 100,000 electric cars will have V2G capability by 2017. Some of the biggest barriers to V2G are the lack of electric vehicles…and the risk that electric cars using V2G will either lose their warranties or be damaged in some way. Another issue is the economics — how much will V2G-enabled grid services be worth to utilities, and by how much can they offset the cost of the cars? …Gage… will be looking to answer these questions…before he raises money from outside investors."