First ‘vehicle to grid’ EV chargers installed as part new trial to combat possible capacity shortages

Electric vehicles to store power and supply national grid at peak times

First ‘vehicle to grid’ EV chargers installed as part new trial to combat possible capacity shortages

A project which aims to store electricity generated from renewable sources at non-peak times in electric vehicle batteries and feed the power back into the grid at peak times has installed the first of 100 ‘V2G’ chargers, as part of its trial to demonstrate how the technology can provide a solution to potential network capacity issues as the number of electric vehicles (EVs) increase.

Over 450 EV drivers have applied to join the new Electric Nation trial so far.

Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid – a project of Western Power Distribution (WPD), in partnership with CrowdCharge – is recruiting Nissan EV owners in the WPD licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales to take part in the trial of Vehicle to Grid smart charging technology.

Currently, only Nissan EVs can be used for V2G charging due to their ‘CHAdeMO’ technology.

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The trial is using Wallbox Quasar, reported to be the smallest and lightest bidirectional charger for home use.

Rasita Chudasama is the first Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial participant to have a charger installed, which happened at the end of October.

Rasita said: “I’m delighted to be part of the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project and to play a role in trialling this exciting new technology.

“By reducing the potential impact of EV charging on electricity networks, V2G should support the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, which will help us to improve local air quality and combat climate change.

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“I’m looking forward to seeing how V2G works from an EV driver’s point of view.”

The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial is offering free installation of the V2G smart chargers worth £5,500 to Nissan EV drivers who live in the WPD regions.

CrowdCharge is recruiting 100 people for the trial to help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and others to understand how V2G charging could work with their electricity networks.

Mike Potter, CEO of CrowdCharge, said: “Vehicle to grid charging is a great concept, but it hasn’t yet been trialled sufficiently on Britain’s electricity networks to enable it to be rolled out on a country-wide basis – hence the need for this project.

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“This trial will provide a smart solution for the management of electric vehicle charging and will study the real-world benefits of V2G.”

By plugging in at specified times and putting energy back into the grid, active participants of the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project are expected to earn a minimum reward up to the monetary value of £120, available over the one-year trial period from March 2021 to March 2022.

Ricky Duke, innovation and low carbon network engineer at WPD, said: “Although we’ve already had more than four times as many applicants as there are places for the trial, recruitment remains open to ensure the project secures the best possible mix in the 100 participants.

“It’s really important for us to see how our customers engage with innovative energy services such as V2G so we can factor it in to our future investment plans”.

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