The original Electric Nation project successfully examined the impact of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging on local networks and also showed that smart charging is a highly effective way to mitigate any possible excessive demand. However, in the last two years bi-directional (or V2G) charging has emerged as a likely feature of the domestic EV charging market, with energy suppliers and car manufacturers now commercially offering combined car leasing and energy plans including bi-directional charging. In addition, the UK government has awarded up to £40m in grants to explore the introduction of this innovative technology.
With the increase in EV vehicle adoption and home charging comes increased stress on the national energy grid, especially during times of peak electricity demand (during the morning and early evening.) There is a balancing act to be struck between market solutions and the need for the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to monitor and intervene when maximum network load is reached. These V2G services could provide an important additional tool for managing these areas. The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project can provide an important insight into how energy service providers and the DNO can operate to achieve maximum benefit for all customers.