Vehicle-to-grid: Genius or waste of energy?

A professor at the University of Delaware has patented a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology for parked electric vehicles to return power to the grid and teamed up with NRG Energy to commercialize it.

Professor Willett Kempton, who has been testing V2G technology that lessens the load on natural gas plants, told the New York Times utilities would not be interested in buying electricity from individual cars but from groups of perhaps 100 vehicles.

The idea is not without its critics.

“The only way this will take off is for users to have a financial incentive to allow the power company to do this, i.e. the power price during peak demand must be so high that it’s cheaper to deplete your EV battery rather than draw from the grid,” writes hackertourist on listserv slashdot.

Ancillary services could fetch $3,000 a year for EV owners, CNET Green Tech reported the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman saying last year.

Others are concerned with vehicular range. “What happens when you want to drive the car and the battery isn’t charged because the power has been returned to the grid?” writes mcavic on slashdot.

Meanwhile, V2G appears to be heading for a big push in the Japanese market, reports Jim Motavalli in the New York Times, possibly due to its potential during blackouts. Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota are all developing V2G systems expected to reach customers by the end of 2012.

Author: Carla Tonelli
Source: Reuters



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