Vehicle-to-grid can be used with such gridable vehicles, this is, pluginable vehicles as Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) or Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), with grid capacity. Since most vehicles are parked an average of 95 percent of the time, their batteries could be used to let electricity flow from the car to the power lines and back, with a value to the utilities of up to $4,000 per year per car. Since power companies only buy power in blocks of 1 MW, at least 20,000 vehicles need to be connected to the grid.
Many various V2G projects are going on throughout the USA. Notably, at the University of Delaware, a V2G team headed by Dr. Willett Kempton has been conducting on-going research. Their goals are to educate about the environmental and economic benefits of V2G and enhance the product market.
It has been proposed that public utilities would not have to build as many natural gas or coal-fired power plants to meet peak demand or as an insurance policy against blackouts Since demand can be measured locally by a simple frequency measurement, dynamic load leveling can be provided as needed.
As the New York Times explains:
[After a power outage, a Florida man] plugged his Toyota Prius into the backup uninterruptible power supply unit in his house and soon the refrigerator was humming and the lights were back on. “It was running everything in the house except the central air-conditioning” ... As long as it has fuel, the Prius can produce at least three kilowatts of continuous power, which is adequate to maintain a home’s basic functions.
Future battery developments may change the economic equation, making it advantageous to use newer high capacity and longer-lived batteries in BEV/PHEVs and in grid load balancing and as a large energy cache for renewable grid resources. Even if cycled daily, such batteries would only require replacement/recycling every 55 years or so. Since BEVs can have up to 50 kWh worth of battery storage they represent somewhat more than the average homes daily energy demand. Even without a PHEV's gas generation capabilities such a vehicle could be utilized for emergency power for several days (V2H or Vehicle-to-home). As such they may be seen as a complementary technology for intermittent renewable power resources such as wind or solar electric.
An analyst at the Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy, [explained] a “pie-in-the-sky vision” for V2G in which a company would offer incentives to its employees to buy plug-in hybrids. The parking lot would be equipped with recharging stations, which could also return power to the grid from the vehicles.
A Environmental Defense representative stated: "It’s hard to take seriously the promises made for plug-in hybrids with 30-mile all-electric range or any serious V2G application any time soon. It’s still in the science project stage."
The Vehicle-to-grid potential of Honda’s full hybrid vehicles is unexplored, but Honda is doubtful of using them to power homes. "We would not like to see stresses on the battery pack caused by putting it through cycles it wasn’t designed for," said a Honda spokesman. "Instead, they should buy a Honda generator that was made for that purpose."
Not all skepticism is warranted. Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff points out that it is a myth that vehicle to grid necessarily decreases the life of the battery. When V2G is used to fill valleys of demand, it stabilizes the grid by absorbing surges in capacity. This can be done "without affecting the charge whatsoever."
Vehicle-to-Grid Power: Challenges and Opportunities Delivers Comprehensive Understanding of the Business Opportunities and Challenges of V2G.
Jan 29, 2010; Research and Markets (httpwww.researchandmarkets.com/research/b10f72/vehicletogrid_po) has announced the addition of the...
Research and Markets Adds Report: Vehicle-to-Grid Power: Latest Challenges and Business Opportunities - 3rd Edition
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Research and Markets Adds Report: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) - Global Market Analysis and Forecasts to 2020.(Industry overview)(Report)
Jan 24, 2011; Research and Markets announced the addition of GlobalData 's new report "Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) - Global Market Analysis and...