Elli, a brand of the Volkswagen Group, and German grid manager Mitnetz Strom have launched a pilot project to test the integration of EVs with a smart electrical grid.
The Innovation Impulse for Future-Proof Grid Integration of E-Mobility project is intended to provide insight into what a practical implementation of smart charging could look like. In the first phase, 20 drivers of Volkswagen models ID.31, ID.42 and ID.53 will charge using green electricity from the local region. An algorithm will use price incentives to match the cars’ charging plans with the output of regional renewable energy and the available capacity of the distribution grid.
Because of a lack of efficient storage options, excess renewable energy generation often goes to waste. According to VW, in 2020 alone, about 6,200 GWh of green power had to be curtailed in Germany. V2G-capable EVs combined with smart grid technology could provide a flexible energy storage option.
“With this project, we are demonstrating for the first time how electric cars can be synchronized with the power grid in a user-friendly way,” says Elli VP of Strategy Niklas Schirmer. “The car becomes a rolling electricity storage unit for the grid operator. For drivers, financial added value is generated via price incentives. By making the electricity demand of EVs more flexible, more renewable, regionally generated electricity can be used.”
“E-mobility and the energy industry are working hand in hand here,” says Dr. Michael Lehmann, Head of Process and System Management at Mitnetz Strom. “EVs can run on green electricity and relieve the strain on the power grid where it is particularly needed. We can prevent bottlenecks in the local grid by using software to allocate charging processes for EVs to the available grid capacities.”
The results of the pilot test are expected in the fall of 2022.