Have you ever dreamed of driving your electric car without money? If you are open to mutual exchange, then stay "on" and your wish can come true. At least that is what some European energy companies and Japanese carmakers think.
E.ON and EDF are already working with Nissan to develop services that allow the energy stored in the battery of the electric car to be sold back to the grid. They are now trying to persuade European carmakers to follow suit, Reuters quoted BTA as saying.
Considering the millions of electric vehicles expected on European roads over the next decade, energy companies see both the opportunity to sell more electricity to drivers and the risk that the surge in power consumption for charging in the busiest hours may destabilize the busy electrical networks.
For this reason, E.ON works with Nissan to develop the so-called " Vehicle-to-grid-V2G, including software for collecting and selling charging data, so that the German electric company can predict the maximum and minimum electricity demand.
The idea of Nissan is that if you charge your electric cars at a time that is not peak and you are ready to sell back the electricity to the grid when pressed by high demand, you can practically charge for free.
French Electric Company EDF works together with San Diego Nuvve, a company specializing in V2G technologies, to build Europe's first widespread charging network for Nissan and Mitsubishi cars.
The largest European electricity market share company Enel also works with Nissan and Nuvve on pilot projects for V2G in Denmark and the Netherlands as well as in Rome and Genoa.
The problem with the electric companies is that, unlike Nissan, French and German companies, which will produce the most electric cars in Europe in the coming years, are not involved in the game – at least for the time being.
Potential power plant
According to two sources from the E.ON and EDF sectors, they are negotiating with European carmakers to take seriously V2G. Manufacturers, however, are more focused on technology for charging electric cars, which, according to sources, is less suited to bidirectional current flow than Japanese standards.
IONITY, a joint venture between Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW and Ford, said it was not interested in V2G at the moment because of its efforts to install high-speed charging stations in Europe to facilitate long-distance travel.
"Our customers want to charge fast, not to return energy," a spokesman for IONITY said. "Only in combination with an external energy storage system could there be an interest in the possibility of deployment," he added.
Among the V2G abstainers is another big company in the sector, the electric car pioneer Tesla, who sells large stationary home energy storage batteries. Tesla declined comments on V2G.
The idea of using electric cars as big potential power plants to return energy to the grid has begun years ago, though the concept is still at an early stage, mainly because there are not many electric cars on the road at the moment.
However, its attractiveness to the energy sector is obvious.
Typically, the car goes under 10% of the day, while the rest of the car's battery can be used to balance supply and demand in energy networks that increasingly need to combine uneven solar and wind power.
This is particularly the case with Germany, which gradually closes its core nuclear and coal-fired power stations, unlike France and Japan, which retain their nuclear energy to have a secure supply.
Jonathan Tudor, director of technology strategy at the innovative division of the largest British power company, Centrica, said the V2G would be part of a mix of network stabilization technologies with more electric vehicles on the road.
If we roll over the clock for 10-12 years, if consumer behavior does not change, thousands of people will go home and want to load their cars at a time when energy demand is maximum for most countries, he said.
Alberto Pilya, head of the Enel electric vehicle division, said that when the electric car market grows significantly, it will come to a breakthrough in which there will be a boom in energy related services. "We are preparing the world for this," he added.
The War of Standards
One of the biggest obstacles to the active entry of V2G into Europe is that the system is working well only with the Japanese standard for charging electric cars, known as CHAdeMO.
The IONITY electric vehicle division is also focusing on enforcement as a standard in the combined refueling system (CCS) sector.
Experts, however, say that the protocol for data exchange between the CCS device and the battery of electric cars is not currently made to allow for rapid changes in bidirectional information flows for charging and returning energy.
CCS has been developed so that electric car owners can load their cars as quickly as possible to encourage drivers who do not want to give up the convenience of refueling the car with gasoline.