Consumers have been lowering their electricity demand for more than a decade by adding solar panels to their roofs. Bidirectional EV charging will reduce that even further- using EV batteries to power homes (vehicle-to-home V2H), buildings (vehicle-to-building V2B) or feed it back to the grid with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
While V2H provides individual consumers significant benefit, V2B and V2G have a greater impact on the grid overall, as the power will be used on a much larger scale. For example, businesses will be able to use the energy from EV fleets at rest to charge a significant portion of their campuses.
Not only will bidirectional EV charging address grid demands on a practical level, but it also has the power to exponentially increase the green benefits of EV adoption by further reducing the emissions caused by primary power generation.
Driving V2G Adoption
For V2G to become ubiquitous, two things must occur:
Policy & EV Charging infrastructure
Policy makers, regulators, and power industry players must create the environment for V2G to happen.
Some regulatory battles have already been fought by the solar industry, which set the groundwork for consumers to deliver power back into the grid either directly or via batteries charged by solar.
Large-scale analyses of consumer EV charging behavior need to occur so utilities can better plan the infrastructure necessary to best facilitate a bidirectional EV charging environment. Without in-depth studies, peak demand can actually increase, as all the vehicles that discharged their energy into the grid before, have an immediate need for it now – like at five p.m., when many are ready to return home.
Consumers need to have complete transparency, with full understanding of their power delivery capacities, how much the grid demands, and how they will be reimbursed or credited for becoming a power supplier.
Technology to accelerate bidirectional EV charging
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) requires an easy way to extract and convert the power from the electric car battery, which is usually direct current (DC), to alternating current (AC), the energy used in the grid.
Automotive manufacturers need to ensure they comply with the CHAdeMO protocol, which has been developed to facilitate the V2G process. However, most vehicles are using the combined charging system (CCS) standard right now, so for existing models, V2G needs to be integrated as an aftermarket solution.
In addition, with accelerated introduction of bidirectional EV charger technologies, customers will be able to purchase a charger at a reasonable price, install it, and be eligible for payback for feeding electricity into the grid.
Going in Two Directions
Bidirectional EV charging is not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when.
Cooperation is key. Coordinated efforts by policy makers, energy producers, automakers, and eMobility providers will drive regulations, innovation and business operations forward to enable the legal, financial, and business facets of V2G to occur.
Advances in infrastructure and hardware to be adapted and adopted are the how it will happen. Power suppliers will ensure that the infrastructure is in place to absorb the “reverse” energy flow.
EV charging operators would need a software platform to provide support for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communications, according to global EV charging standards, including OCPP 2.0.1, openADR 2.0 and ISO 15118.
Once all this occurs, V2G charging can become a standard operating procedure.