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V2G project shows EV owners can slash energy bills and reduce demand on grid

Electric Nation included multiple suppliers and tariffs to develop a more real-world view of V2G. Image: Electric Nation.

Electric Nation included multiple suppliers and tariffs to develop a more real-world view of V2G. Image: Electric Nation.

A trial of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging has shown that electric vehicle (EV) owners can use the technology to save money on their energy bills while helping to take the stress off the electricity grid.

Run by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge, the Electric Nation project recruited 100 Nissan EV owners across England and Wales that were able to charge their vehicles at off-peak times when energy is cheaper and greener, and then can sell it back into the grid to help minimise energy demand at peak times.

The trial has proven that V2G charging works both from a technical point of view, and from the perspective of customer acceptance, according to WPD.

It said Electric Nation is different to other V2G projects because it partnered with more than one energy supplier and allowed different import and export tariff types, meaning it was a more realistic simulation of how V2G charging will be in the future.

Among the other partners on the project were Flexitricity, Green Energy UK, Igloo Energy and British Gas

One participant in the trial saved up to £50 on her electricity bill per month by setting her Nissan e-NV200 campervan to charge during the night and exporting energy from the vehicle to the grid during the peak times of higher demand, making her £25 per month.

Roger Hey, DSO systems and projects manager at WPD, said V2G has enormous potential to reduce the amount of new electricity network needed to be built.

“Vehicle-to-grid charging doubles the amount of flexibility in the electricity system, although in reality it brings even greater benefit because it also allows us to use the same unit of energy multiple times through charge/discharge cycles,” he added.

The Electric Nation project has proven that V2G works in a domestic setting, but there is also significant potential for commercial fleets to reap similar benefits, but on a larger scale, according to WPD.

While only Nissan EVs can currently be used for V2G charging due to their CHAdeMO technology, the CCS charging system is set to be V2G-compatible by 2025, meaning the technology should be possible for all EVs then, WPD said.

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