Parked EVs earn $1,530 in V2G pilot

Nissan LEAF EV Fast Charger

Nissan and Italian utility Enel are carrying out trials of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) systems with some 100 cars across Europe. In Denmark, fleet operators will collect about 1,300 euros ($1,530) a year by feeding power back into the grid using the two-way charge points.

As EVs proliferate, grid managers will have to pay attention to when motorists draw power from the system. Bloomberg expects power consumption from vehicles to grow from 6 terawatt-hours today to 1,800 terawatt-hours in 2040. V2G technology could turn the challenge into an advantage by enabling EV batteries to help balance supply and demand

“If you [blindly] deploy in the market a massive number of electric cars without any visibility or control over the way they impact the electricity grid, you might create new problems,” Francisco Carranza, Director of Energy Services at Nissan Europe, told Bloomberg.

While Nissan’s trial is taking place in several countries, it’s only in Denmark that vehicle owners can currently be paid. In the UK, utility market regulations require at least 150 cars to participate in the program before owners could get paid, but that could happen by the end of this year, said Carranza. “It’s feasible. It’s just a matter of finding the appropriate business model to deploy the business wide-scale.’’


Source: Bloomberg

  • Joe Jackson

    Ok I can see feeding back during periods of high demand but then they have to load up again which reduces the battery life as it is another charge cycle. Unless you get paid more or equal per kwh to the charging rate per kwh for electricity it does not make sense.

    • Mark

      The spot price for electricity on the NEM (National Energy Market, in Australia) sits under $100/Mwh for most of the time, but at periods of heavy demand it can get up to a regulated market cap of $14,000/Mwh. Under those circumstances there is the possibility of being paid hundreds of times as much for discharging as the normal cost of charging (and home battery systems are already being built to take advantage of this). But yes, you’d have to get paid a premium for inconveniencing yourself by not having a charged car to use at the time, and the wear on the battery for it to make sense.
      I actually see similar benefits in just allowing the charging to be deferred, though you can’t do that when the battery was already full.

      • Joe Jackson

        As you say – makes more sense to use static batteries – at that kind of premium it would be a great business opportunity – charge overnight or use photovoltaics then discharge whenever the market goes above say $10,000/Mwh. I believe the UK government are going to encourage such investment.

        • nordlyst

          It makes sense at a 20% premium too, provided it doesn’t harm the battery pack. People are too quick to assume that what they know about cycling is true in all conditions. It’s actually not straightforward at all.

          Some of the press this has got has been or scaremongering, including here on this site. “Studies” that are nothing more than napkin math with unrealistically unfavorable assumptions have got many thinking V2G is a terribly idea. At the same time, some engineers say it may improve battery life!

          See for instance this:

      • nordlyst

        It need not wear the battery much, if anything. The jury’s still out among the experts.

        And if 200+ miles becomes the norm, as seems very likely, most will have plenty overcapacity most of the time. Few go on long trips on impulse, and even if you occasionally do it may be worth using DCFC those few times rather than forego income from letting a utility store energy in your pack.

        It could also be, for all I know, that it’s all too complicated and will cost more than it’s worth. In the long run, what ought to happen is shared fleets and the end of personal cars. In that scenario V2G makes less sense, or at least would be much less significant, since utilisation of each vehicle would be much higher and number of cars much smaller.

    • nordlyst

      It’s not quite that simple. Things are never as simple as the simplifications we’ve learned. Surprisingly, at least one study found that V2G could help increase battery longevity.

      The number of cycles metric has largely come about to have a way to rate battery life. Comparing chemistries one might least twice as many cycles as another before registering 20% capacity loss, for instance. But actually these measurements may prove to be meaningless except in the particular test conditions, e.g. 1C or 0.5C or 2C at 5 degrees Celsius, or 15, or 27 or -20!

      Cycles are usually defined in energy terms. Charging and discharging between 0 and 100 percent is obviously a cycle, but so is going three times between 35 and 68.33 percent state of charge. It’s known that the latter is much less damaging to the battery (any typical chemistry at least), but this is still how is defined.

      I’m really not convinced V2G is gonna happen, but the obstacles may well be more of a psychological than technical nature!

  • jstack6

    JJ The Plugin vehicles today have batteries that last 20-30 years. Using a small amount can tickle the battery and give it more life. Hyundai even gives a lifetime battery warranty. V2G pays off and helps the GRID. Read the facts

    • nordlyst

      Batteries that last 20-30 years is not giving an accurate picture of the current situation. It may be accurate in the future – but nobody really knows that yet.

      I would like a link to Hyundai’s offering of a lifetime battery warranty, both because I can’t find it and because I would like to see what those nice-sounding words actually mean (if, indeed, you can find the warranty you claim exists). If there is no guaranteed remaining capacity, or if that is too low to be still really useful, the existence of such a warranty wouldn’t really mean anything.

      My 2012 LEAF lost one bar off the capacity meter just after 50,000 km. Nissan isn’t exactly clear on what the bars mean, but keen amateurs have found that the top bar, one out of twelve, actually represents 15% capacity. In other words, now that I’v added 17,000 km more, the state of health (SOH) of my battery pack is probably only about 80%. And that is with a pretty low mileage for a car that is soon five years on the roads (original registration was in December 2012).

      20-30 years implies that virtually all packs last no less than 20 years, but the reality is that not a single pack comparable to the ones now used is even 10 years old yet. A few packs from the Roadster are the closest we can get, and I haven’t seen the data on those. If you have, please link to it as I’d be very interested.

      Tesla claims that they have recently tweaked their chemistry and expect degradation to have been reduced to half the level it was previously. And since the cars are long range, you don’t need as many cycles to put 100,000 km on the car (only a third as many as I need in my LEAF), which obviously helps a great deal. So perhaps it is not crazy to expect the battery pack in a new Tesla to last 20-30 years. Even so, Tesla still does not have a battery warranty worth the paper its written on – only the complete failure of the pack is covered, and even that is limited in both time and mileage. It seems pretty reasonable to expect Tesla to happily guarantee, say, 70% remaining capacity after 20 years if the company was truly certain that 99% or more of the packs would not have to be replaced under warranty! But they do not. Instead, they simply say the battery pack, and the rest of the powertrain, is designed to outlast the expected life of the car.

      All of this having been said, I do agree that V2G might really make a huge difference. With 50-60 kWh looking like the baseline capacity going forward it will be easy for 95% of the fleet to spare 5 kWh, or even 15 kWh, on 95% of the days. And that is enough to make a huge difference in terms of smoothing out demand. IDK whether it can all be done cost-effectively – especially without mandatory standards – but I do believe it is technically feasible.

  • Gillacey

    on the photo, the car (Leaf?) is plugged in via the Chademo rapid charger. Does this mean to participate the car must be plugged into a rapid charger? I can’t see how that’s practical.