V2G could change the energy game once market barriers are overcome
A recent study conducted by ABI Research found that vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, the bi-directional flow of energy from the grid to the vehicle and vice versa, could enable consumers to save as much as $272 per year on their energy bill as well as bring significant cost savings and additional revenues of $2 billion to global energy suppliers in 2025.
“V2G could be a real game-changer in how energy is not only consumed but also generated,” says Shiv Patel, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “V2G will be used to build on existing smart charging principals of encouraging energy use during off-peak hours. However, what’s unique about V2G is that it will enable some of this energy to be distributed back to the grid via bi-directional charging, for use during peak hours.”
According to the study, V2G will not only enable consumers to make cost savings of up to 15% on their household energy bill but will also critically load shift demand from peak to off-peak. ABI Research forecasts that up to 21TWh of energy could be distributed to the grid via V2G in 2025, although this would just be a fraction of the actual 585 TWh of spare energy storage available on electric vehicles over the same year. This would enable energy markets to better incorporate intermitted renewable energy sources, such as wind, by creating off-peak storage, allowing these renewable energy sources to run more often during off-peak hours. V2G would also provide the grid-critical additional resources for primary and secondary frequency control as well as help grid operators better manage line constraints and forecast demand. This is vital for grid stability.
The study found that the current biggest barrier to V2G is the current lack of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) support. Without the wider support from OEMs, a large proportion of the EV market will be shut off from using V2G. Only Nissan—one of the forefront leaders in electric vehicle technology, according to the study—has seriously committed to the technology. That said, the China Electricity Council (CEC) and the CHAdeMO association have decided to unify their charging standards which should allow V2G to become available on the most popular charging standard in the world, GB/T.
Elsewhere, large parts of the ecosystem are starting to come together to get behind V2G technology. For instance, OVO Energy, a UK energy supplier is working on launching a home-charger for V2G in partnership with Nissan later this year, making V2G more accessible. Meanwhile, Nuvve and charging infrastructure supplier New Motion are both trialing frequency control services with grid operator TenneT, while also working to ensure that these services are optimized for the grid. The optimization of aggregation services and integration into the grid will be the key to maximizing economic benefits for all stakeholders, according to the study.
“If important players like OEMs, energy suppliers, transmission system operations, and aggregators can continue to come together, then there is no reason why current market barriers can’t be overcome. When they are, V2G will benefit all stakeholders - from consumers to OEMs - and have a huge impact on the way energy itself is used,” Patel concluded.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Vehicle-to-Grid Technologies and Applications report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Mobility & Automotive research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.