ORIGINAL REPORTING: V2G In The Marketplace Makes EVs A Power Source
Vehicle-to-Grid is Not a Science Project
Herman K. Trabish, March 21, 2022 (California Current)
Editor’s note: New pilot projects are bringing the stored energy in EV batteries into power markets, enhancing reliable electricity delivery.
California added over 250,000 electric vehicles last year, reaching more than one million, according to the California Energy Commission. Current gasoline price spikes suggest that growth will accelerate EV purchases even more, but the increased electricity demand is expected to tax the power system, particularly if charging is not done at optimal times.
In response, California utilities are working on electric vehicle to home pilots that explore using the vehicles’ battery storage to power customers’ homes during outages, as Current recently reported. Pacific Gas & Electric and GM are working on a pilot over the next year at a utility facility and then at a customer’s home to test bidirectional chargers’ V2H capabilities. Concurrently, five PG&E-powered homes will test the potential of bidirectional charging with Ford’s F150 Lightning, the first light-duty truck in the market with that capability, PG&E Spokesperson Ari Vanrenen said. It will include management of the F-150 battery through Sunrun-provided home energy management systems, Ford Motor Company, Energy Services Business Lead, Ryan O’Gorman told Current.
But the big prize is expected to be vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies emerging to support California’s 2035 all zero-emission new vehicle sales goal and its grid reliability ambitions, transportation electrification sector representatives and analysts told Current.
People have been talking about V2G for 20 years, but implementation is only accelerating now, said Nuvve Vice President of Policy Jacqueline Piero. V2G is ahead of the PG&E pilots’ more narrowly focused vehicles to homes. That is because V2G interconnection rules are in place, safety standards are developed, and policies supporting compensation are coming soon, she added.
V2G “is not a science project anymore,” agreed Vehicle Grid Integration Council (VGIC) Senior Policy Director Edward Burgess. Many other major automakers besides Ford and GM, including VW, Lucid, and Hyundai, are working on the technology. California, New York, and Massachusetts are working on policy to support and compensate it, he added. Bidirectional charging technologies that enable vehicle to home and V2G are the way of the future because of the “huge opportunity” for customers, utilities, electric systems, and automakers, PG&E’s Vanrenen said.
There is value for all customers when a bidirectional charger converts AC electricity stored in an EV battery and sends it to a building as backup power or to the power system to smooth demand peaks, a November 2021 Smart Electric Power Alliance report confirmed. To scale V2G, “technical standards that govern the integration of V2G-enabled EVs” need to be incorporated into state interconnection rules, a January Interstate Renewable Energy Council report said. No single standard will cover all V2G interactions, but national standards by UL, IEEE, and others have established guidance for “safe and reliable” V2G performance, the report said… click here for more