E.On and Nissan have installed 20 vehicle-to-grid (V2G) electric vehicle (EV) chargers as part of a new trial into the technology.
The chargers have been installed at Nissan’s European Technical Centre in Cranfield, with the duo now recruiting further participants, with an aim of installing V2G chargers at organisations across the UK.
The project is co-funded by Innovate UK and will test and demonstrate how storing and sharing electricity in fleet vehicles’ batteries can generate additional revenue for participating companies alongside providing support for the power grid.
UK Power Networks (UKPN) is to collaborate on the element of the trial looking to explore the opportunities for customers to earn revenues from V2G, with the technology having the ability to release capacity onto the electricity networks.
Luke Ellis, V2G programme manager with E.On UK, said that the initial 20 installs have “proven the technology’s capabilities” meaning the company is closer to bringing the technology to market.
He pointed to how fleet vehicles will sit idle overnight or in some cases during the work day, allowing them to be charged when demand is low and export when demand is high whilst ensuring they are still charged and ready to use when needed.
"V2G technology brings with it wider environmental benefits for society as a whole. It can be considered ‘carbon negative’ for its potential to reduce or even remove the need for fossil-fueled generation to be fired up at times of peak electricity demand," Ellis added.
A number of V2G trials are underway in the UK, including a project between Moixa, Honda and Islington Council that has seen five V2G chargers installed at Islington Town Hall.
A larger trial of V2G charging – The E-Flex project run by a consortium including Cisco, Cenex and Imperial College London among others – recently found that V2G technology could help alleviate some concerns for fleet managers as they transition to EVs.
Whilst 48% of the 500 fleet managers surveyed as part of the project were concerned over the upfront cost of an EV and 72% were concerned about rising energy costs, 54% believed investing in V2G could help offset the initial costs of the vehicles.
Distribution network operator (DNO) Western Power Distribution (WPD) has also lauded the benefits of V2G as of late, stating in June it expects the technology to be more effective than smart charging as it launched a new V2G trial.