Cisco’s E-Flex vehicle-to-grid demonstration trial has expanded into Plymouth following a successful London launch earlier this year.
E-Flex, which is intending to demonstrate the commercial viability of V2G technologies, brings together Cisco, Cenex, Nuvve, Imperial College London and other partners, and Plymouth City Council has become the project’s latest addition.
Currently, Plymouth City Council operates a fleet of six Nissan Leafs which are used for day-to-day travel by council employees. They will now be equipped with bidirectional chargers, allowing them to feed surplus or unused electricity back to the grid.
The council intends to use V2G to manage its energy cost more effectively, which would in turn free up investment for other local services, while simultaneously improving on the local services available to EV users in the area.
It’s hoped the trial will prove that not only are V2G capabilities commercially beneficial, but also that they can be used by distribution grid operators to alleviate grid constraints or load pressures.
Dan Turner, low carbon city officer at Plymouth City Council, said that the considerable penetration of renewable energy in Cornwall had meant that Plymouth was a particularly strained part of the grid.
“For businesses to grow, we need to find new ways to support their energy consumption whilst reducing connection costs across the city, so the V2G concept appeals to us from a grid management perspective as well as a commercial one,” he said.
E-Flex initially launched in London earlier this year, and roped in both the Greater London Authority and Transport for London in order to meet its stated aim of incorporating 200 electric vehicles in a real-world testing environment.
Maria Hernandez, head of innovation at Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “With the potential to transform the way urban areas consume energy, V2G technology is a win-win for council fleets, business fleets and public sector services alike.”