What is Vehicle to Grid (V2G)?

V2G technology turns your car into an energy storage system and allows you to sell any excess energy stored in your EV’s battery back to the national grid.This not only makes you money but helps balance supply across the national grid when demand for energy is at its highest. You can turn off-peak priced energy into profit, by charging your car at night when costs are low and selling to the grid at peak times when prices are high.

How does vehicle to grid technology work?

Vehicle to Grid enabled car batteries are bidirectional.  This means they can both charge and discharge energy.  When charging, the battery stores energy for use at a later date.  When discharging, the energy is used to drive your car. You can also discharge either to your home, or to the grid. The benefits of discharging to the grid include:

  • Earn extra income from discharging to the grid
  • Reduce your energy bills by using within your home
  • Reduces the demand required from the National Grid at peak times

To take advantage of V2G, you’ll need a V2G bi-directional smart charger which sends power both to your car battery, and then back out from your car battery to your home and the grid.

Vehicle to Grid V2G

The Vehicle to Grid Process

No1

 

Electricity being imported and exported between the Grid and the house

 

 

No2

 

 

Electricity being imported and exported between the house and the car via an inverter

 

 

No3

 

Control units communicating with each other

 

How does a V2G Smart ChargePoint balance the grid?

Smart ChargePoints communicates with your energy supplier, letting them know when it’s convenient to deploy surplus energy to the network. An App downloaded to your mobile gives you access to features such as: 

  • Setting charging schedules with the option to over-ride them for unexpected, or longer journeys
  • Set minimum charge levels
  • See live charging updates (when your car is discharging or charging)
  • Keep control by viewing historical charging data.

Most new ChargePoints have Smart technology already installed or have the capability to be upgraded. However, some don’t, so if you’ve already had a standard charger installed and you want to take advantage of Vehicle to Grid, you’ll need install a new Vehicle to Grid Smart ChargePoint. Octopus Energy has collaborated with Ohme to offer customers a solution if they have a standard charger.  Their new Ohme cable turns any home or public untethered EV ChargePoint into a smart unit. 

Installing a domestic Smart ChargePoint

If you need to change your standard charger to a Vehicle to Grid ChargePoint, or install a new ChargePoint that’s Vehicle to Grid enabled, it’s important to use a trusted installer either by finding a Flexi-Orb member or an OLEV certified installer.

To qualify for the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme grant you must use an OLEV Certified installer who will ensure you meet the terms and conditions of the scheme when applying for the grant. Find out more about installing domestic ChargePoints.

Unlocking the benefits of Vehicle to Grid

The key benefits of V2G include:

  • Reduce the cost of annual energy bills by selling low cost, surplus energy back to the National Grid when costs are high
  • V2G and intelligent control of battery charging can help to increase the life of your car battery
  • Ensuring national energy demands can be managed at peak times
  • Keeps you in control of your energy usage and puts the energy needs of your home and car first
  • Save up to £1440 on the lease of a Nissan LEAF 40kWh when using Octopus Powerloop V2G leasing bundle [1]

[1] https://www.octopusev.com/powerloop

How much could you save?

A car plugged in for 65% of the time with a two-way charger could earn roughly £500 per year. [2] The potential cost savings depend upon a number of factors such as how often and how long you keep your electric vehicle plugged in to your V2G ChargePoint and what type of tariff you have.
[2] https://everoze.com/v2g

What do I need to be V2G ready?

Here’s a list of everything you need to become V2G ready:

Equipment 

Why it is needed

Additional Information

Internet connection & a smartphone

In order to remotely control when and for how long your V2G Smart ChargePoint charges your car. Also, to enable the communication technology between your ChargePoint, battery and your energy supplier 

 

V2G enabled electric vehicle

V2G enabled car batteries are bidirectional.  This means they can both charge and discharge energy.   

As of 1st October 2019, only the ‘CHAdeMO’ DC connector is compatible with V2G, and so only car models that support this connector are V2G compatible. As of 1st October 2019, the models that accept a ‘ChAdeMO’ connection are; Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul, Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan e-NV200 (van).

V2G compatible Smart ChargePoint

A V2G Smart ChargePoint is compatible with V2G ready electric vehicles.  Its smart technology allows you to communicate with it via an App so you can control how and when the surplus energy from your battery is deployed.  It also allows communication with your energy supplier which is necessary for grid services. 

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) provides a grant of up to 75% of the eligible costs of a chargepoint and its installation (capped at £500, including VAT)

 

 

A V2G energy supplier

OVO energy has an EV Everywhere energy plan for EV owners which includes a free smart charger, or POLAR plus membership, 2 year fixed energy plan, 100% green energy and works with Economy 7.

 

Octopus has two V2G tariffs to choose from. Octopusgo which has cheap electricity for 5p/kWh between 00:30 – 04:30 every night. Agile Octopus where you get access to half-hourly energy prices, tied to wholesale prices and updated daily. So, when wholesale prices drop, so do your bills – and if you can shift your daily electricity use outside of peak times

 

How do I apply for Vehicle to Grid?

The following table lists the two organisations who are currently offering the opportunity to take part in V2G.

V2G Supplier

Type of V2G offer

Additional Information

Octopus Energy 

Vehicle-to-Grid bundle called Powerloop which includes a new Nissan LEAF 40kWh, a Wallbox charger, an App, 100% renewable energy, a Smart meter and £30 cashback every month for £235/month.  The package runs on a 4 year contract. 

Powerloop is only available in areas where the local energy grid is managed by UK Power Networks.  Check if you’re in their area. 

OVO Energy

Vehicle-to-Grid Trial gives you £75 credit on your first energy bill, a free V2G charger and a payment of 30p per kWh of energy exported back to the grid.  26p per kWh if you have solar. 

 

The trial lasts for 24 months.

 

FAQs

Can my current electric car support V2G?

Not all electric vehicles can currently support V2G.  Your car will need to be compatible with a CHAdeMO DC connector.  As of 1st October 2019, the only car models that support this type of connector are:

  • Nissan LEAF
  • Kia Soul 
  • Mitsubishi Outlander 
  • Nissan e-NV200 (van)
Will V2G void my battery warranty?

It is too early to say whether V2G will void your battery warranty. OVO energy is working closely with Nissan to ensure that no battery degradation is caused by V2G charging beyond what would be expected from normal charging using a standard EV home charge point. Find out more on their website.  

If you’re looking to get V2G ready, it’s important to check the details of warranty of the battery contained within your electric vehicle with your car manufacturer.

Do I need any permissions before installing V2G?

It’s not necessary to apply for planning permission before installing your V2G ChargePoint as long as the unit is within the boundaries of your home and doesn’t fall into any of these categories:

  • within two metres of a highway
  • over 1.6m in height for ground units or more than 0.2 cubic meters in volume for wall mounted units 
  • in or within the grounds of a listed building 

Once the installation is complete, your installer will contact your Distribution Network operator (DNO) to inform them that your ChargePoint has been installed.

How does V2G work with solar?

If you currently have solar panels but don’t have any way of storing excess solar power, your electric vehicle could be the answer. V2G technology enables you to store any surplus solar power to your EV’s battery and use it to power your home or sell it to the national grid when demand is high, creating your very own mini power plant. 

How far can you go?

A typical 5kW south facing solar PV system produces an average of 18kWh [3] of solar energy per day from March to October. An average UK home with an electric cooker consumes approximately 9kWh of electricity a day which leaves 9kW spare to charge your car – the equivalent of 36 miles of driving per day (or 13,000 miles pa). [4]

[3] https://drive-green.co.uk/charging-options/solar-charging-electric-car/
[4] https://drive-green.co.uk/charging-options/solar-charging-electric-car/

Will my vehicle be left without any charge?

As well as controlling when your car’s surplus energy is needed to supply the grid, your V2G Smart Charger profiles your patterns of driving behaviour.  This means you’ll have sufficient power to be able to use your car when you need it.  Smart charging technology is normally controlled by an App so you can track your energy usage and set your minimum battery energy level.  The App won’t allow your energy to be discharged to the grid if it means compromising the drivetime of your vehicle. 

Get in touch

E: info@flexi-orb.com

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