Vehicle to grid scheme allows EV owners to drive for free

Posted: October 3, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy, innovation, Travel
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What effect the extra demands of being used for energy storage might have on the long-term efficiency and life of the electric vehicle’s battery is not mentioned. They hope that more EVs on such schemes could reduce the need for new power generation, by allowing smarter management of existing resources.

Ovo, the UK electricity supplier, is to offer a ‘vehicle-to-grid’ service to buyers of the Nissan Leaf from next year, allowing electric car owners’ to drive for free by letting energy firms use their vehicle’s batteries, reports Power Engineering International.

Savings from the scheme will cover the £350-£400 annual cost of charging a Nissan Leaf, the electricity supplier told the Guardian.

The move could mean greater take-up of electric vehicles and help power grids manage the growth in green energy, according to its backers.

After installing a special charger in a customer’s home, the supplier will take over the management of the car’s battery, with owners able to set a minimum amount of charge they want for driving the next day.

Ovo will then automatically trade electricity from the battery, topping it up during off-peak periods when power costs about 4p per kilowatt hour (kWh), and selling it at peak times for about four times as much. Ovo chief executive, Stephen Fitzpatrick, said, “Being able to feed back into the grid will mean that customers will be able to drive for free.”

In future, the flexibility provided by allowing power grid managers to draw on millions of electric cars would be “transformational”, he said, adding that as well as avoiding the need for costly grid upgrades, paid for through energy bills, it could reduce the number of new power stations that need to be built.

National Grid has warned that rapid growth in the EV sector would require a large increase in the UK’s power generation capacity, equivalent to two or more new nuclear power plants.

If the scheme is successful, the cars’ batteries could also help energy networks cope with the increasing but variable renewable energies on the system, by returning power to the grid at times of peak demand and smoothing out inconsistencies in energy supply. 

Source: Vehicle to grid scheme can facilitate EV owners – Power Engineering International

  1. Joe Public says:

    An excellent scheme.

    Should the ev’s battery be drained when the driver discovers an emergency long-distance trip is rqd – (s)he’ll have no one to blame but him/her self.

    OVO gets the opportunity to add cycles to the battery charge/discharge capability at no capital cost to itself.

    Trebles all round.

  2. p.g.sharrow says:

    A blue sky scheme built on a blue scheme built on a blue scheme! and at no cost!
    What could possibly go wrong?…pg

  3. Hifast says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    Interesting concept–decentralizing power storage.

  4. Roger,

    It would be really interesting to see how much of this is supported by tax money and who gets the most rich off of the scheme.

    The grid would go down at rush hour each day when more of these vehicles are traveling. This scheme would likely cost more than windmills, because it would take many vehicles to replace one windmill. You lose power when you charge a battery, you lose when your discharge a battery. The energy required to use batteries is much more than the energy required without batteries. Fossil fuel or Nuclear, without energy storage is the most efficient way to go. These other schemes are feel good junk that makes some rich people richer and much cost and no benefit to the common taxpayer.

    Cities that have too much pollution from vehicle exhaust should promote electric vehicles to clean their air.

    Others should continue to use fossil fuel until something different makes economic sense.

    CO2 is not pollution, it is crop fertilizer and more is better. Green things give us our food and Oxygen. War against CO2 is war against all living things, including people.


  5. oldbrew says:

    ‘selling it at peak times for about four times as much’ – which requires the car to be plugged in at such times, plus the driver not needing it until after the next recharge.

    Or if the driver suddenly does need it at/near the peak time, it’s pot luck how much charge it’s got left. Also cars on the scheme could end up charging cars not on it 😐

  6. Bryan says:

    Fantasy land

    If all vehicles were to switch to electric propulsion we would need just about double the number of power stations all other things being equal.
    True switching to off peak charging would reduce the total required installed power requirement somewhat but not by 50%.
    Next problem would be the huge loss to the Treasury of Fuel Tax and VAT at 20%
    At present in the UK the VAT on mains electricity is 5%.

  7. Curious George says:

    ‘selling it at peak times for about four times as much’ – whatever OVO determines to be a peak time. Certainly not the “best price” time. How much does a battery cost, and how many times can you charge/discharge it?

  8. oldbrew says:

    Battery cost depends on the power rating. Chevy Bolt costs ~15,500 USD but they say hardly any replacements are sold. Not surprising as it’s only been on sale for a year.

    EV battery warranties generally seem to be in the +/- 8 years range, but noticeable loss of max. charge capacity is likely as time goes by, judging from online comments. Charging itself has some dos and don’ts that some might not observe.
    – – –
    A car with a 24 kiloWatt-hour pack might diminish to 20 kiloWatt-hours, over time. A fully charged range of 84 miles would become 67 miles maximum range, if the pack diminishes to 80% of original capacity.

    Capacity loss is expected, and at the “normal” rate of loss it would take several years to reach 80% loss.

    [I assume they mean 80% of original capacity, not 80% loss]

    A lot more info:

  9. The extra charging and discharging will accelerate the demise of the battery. Most batteries will only stand a few thousand charging cycles so will halving the life of the battery be covered by the £300 energy saving?

    [reply] sell at the right time 😉

  10. JB says:

    It would be enlightening to look at the life of hybrid car batteries over the last decade. That would be a fair weather indicator to Ovo whether or not the scheme would really work, battery life-wise. But I agree with the idea is lose deal for the car owner. What car owner would want to be subject to uncontrolled rates due to participatory constraints?

  11. Phoenix44 says:

    Do these people have no concept of reality? Prices CHANGE in response to supply and demand. If we start to supply lots more electricity at peak, prices will fall, and if these car owners increase and demand more at lower demand times, then prices will rise. Betting that an arbitrage will continue to exist when you are actively encouraging behaviour that will do away with the arbitrage is beyond stupid.

  12. ivan says:

    Another thing I don’t see mentioned – the cost of upgrading the local wiring from substation to house to enable it to take the load and updating the house wiring for the same reason.

    If they don’t do that there will be a lot of ‘hot spots’ in roads and other places. In fact I smell another scam and an attempt to move people to electric cars.

    The fun would be to work out if it would pay to hook a small generator up to feed power back rather than paying to get an EV.

  13. dscott says:

    One wee problem with the concept of home recharging… Where is your car during the daylight hours? If you are not retired, your car is at work. If you are a homemaker or retired, your car is used to run errands during daylight hours. So in practical terms for most people, the only real time your car will be at home during daylight hours is the weekend and holidays when you’re not using it.

    The upshot is the idea that you would be getting FREE energy for using the car is only valid at most 2 days a week for wage earners. And btw at $35,000 for the cheapest Tesla Model 3, the idea that retirees and homemakers are going to afford an electric vehicle or would NOT choose a much cheaper gasoline powered vehicle is just plain silly.

  14. p.g.sharrow says:

    dscott says this is just plain silly.

    A lot more the just plain silly. This is a part and parcel of the Ecoloon’s “Rainbows in Blue Skies” pipe dreams for our future. Isn’t Ignorance of reality wonderful! They must live in a SiFi world…pg

  15. ivan says:

    The more I see of the stupidity of the greens and the sheep like following of the general public I can’t help think that the film ‘Idiocracy’ (based on C. M. Kornbluth’s book ‘The Marching Morons’) is prophetic.

    Anyone that accepts this, and other green ‘initiatives’ on face value, I have a well used bridge you just have to buy.

  16. oldbrew says:

    ‘Vehicle to grid scheme allows EV owners to drive for free‘ at someone else’s expense.