As electric vehicles continue to amaze us all with their breathtaking performance, we can tell that the future belongs to them.
However, recently a new dynamic of operations for this platform has popped up. The possibility of electric vehicles being used as a power backup source was introduced by Ford when it launched the F-150 Lightning.
Recently, General Motors has also followed suit by joining hands with Pacific Gas & Electric Company. A pilot project has been announced in which some GM vehicles will have the capability of being used as backup power sources.
Such vehicles will have bi-directional charging technology which will enable homeowners to use these EVs thereby replacing expensive equipment like electric generators or the Tesla Walls.
The US giant is expected to reach the capability of manufacturing 1 million EVs by 2025. So, with the incorporation of this ability, these vehicles will have even more utility.
The first vehicle of the pilot is likely to be tested by the summers this year. However, it is pertinent to keep in mind that the pilot will not be confined to just one EV.
Is Someone Working On A Similar System In Europe?
Europe is already kilometers ahead of several other places on the planet when it comes to carbon neutrality.
This is why it only seems plausible that ENTSO-E, which is the acronym for European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, is working on this system as well. This association is operational in 35 countries presently.
According to ENTSO-E, the key benefits of the V2G system (Vehicle to Grid) are:
– Guaranteed environmental & economic benefits for customers;
– Improved system management.
The system will also include the smart charging facility which will give customers the ability to select the timings of charging. This will have two added benefits:
– Lower charging costs during off-peak hours;
– Providing energy to the grid & making money during peak hours.
What Are The Prospects?
With major players like Ford & GM, joining the bandwagon, the prospects seem bright.
As the number of electric vehicles is growing, the overall ability to power up the grid also increases.
How Much Can Be Saved By Such Methods?
The answer is more complicated than it might look. This is because if you have a renewable source of energy installed at your house, like solar panels, and you charge your EV with this system, your savings can be quite high.
However, for people who are consuming power from the grid and then trying to resell the same power to the grid, the chances of saving anything are bleak.
In fact, due to the losses of the system, you might actually end up paying more.
It depends upon how much energy efficiency these vehicles will be able to achieve but in case it is not substantial, most users won’t be saving big bucks here.
The advantages of using EVs as a backup power source include:
– Ability to sell power generated from your solar panels to the grid.
– No need to buy an expensive item like a generator;
The disadvantages of using EVs as a backup power source include but are not limited to:
– Such systems will raise the prices of EVs having this added ability;
– Companies might trick customers to think they are saving when actually they might be consuming more than they think.
The idea of powering up your home with your EV seems like a sci-fi movie. However, thanks to Ford & GM, the technology is knocking right at our doorstep but we need to analyze how lucrative it is for us before getting our hands on this feature.