UK to Turn EVs into Grid-Backup Power Sources with £4.8 Million Investment in Two-Way Charging Tech

UK Invests £4.8 Million in Two-Way Charging Tech to Turn EVs into Grid-Backup Power Sources
Image: Auto Express

Vehicle-to-Everything Systems; Beyond Conventional Charging of EVs

The UK government is investing £4.8 million ($6.1 million) in the development of two-way charging technologies, aiming to transform electric vehicles (EVs) into backup power sources and contribute to the nation’s climate goals. The funding is allocated to four UK projects focusing on vehicle-to-everything systems, allowing consumers to charge their EVs during periods of low electricity costs and subsequently use that stored energy to power home appliances during peak-price hours.

Unlike traditional EV charging systems that solely draw power from the grid, bidirectional charging facilitates the extraction of energy stored in EV batteries. This innovation presents a significant advantage, as the grid can leverage the stored electricity from millions of EVs to offset the need for fossil-fuel power stations during periods of high demand, enhancing overall grid stability.

Addressing Energy Grid Limitations; Net Zero Emissions by 2050

This funding initiative responds to calls from various industries urging the government to address energy grid limitations. Anticipating a doubling of electricity demand by 2035 due to the growing electrification of road transport and domestic heating, ministers recognize the necessity for increased generation capacity and network upgrades.

The official backing for bidirectional charging technologies aligns with the UK’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. In addition to this, the country has set a goal to halt the sale of all new non-zero emission vehicles by 2035. This strategic support signifies a step toward a more sustainable and resilient energy infrastructure, emphasizing the integration of EVs into the broader framework of the national power grid.

Four innovative projects are set to benefit from a £4.8 million funding injection, contributing to the advancement of electric vehicle (EV) technologies. The initiatives, supported by the UK government’s Flexibility Innovation Programme within the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), aim to address various challenges in the EV sector.

  1. Wireless V2G for Fleets (V2Geasy) by Electric Green: This London-based project, backed by £959k in government funding, focuses on converting 20 Royal Mail delivery vans into bi-directionally chargeable vehicles. Electric Green will explore wireless (inductive) charging at Kingston’s Royal Mail depot, aiming to overcome depot space constraints, enhance safety, and maximize connection times. The project involves analysis by QEnergy experts on fleet duty cycles, battery data, and feedback from Royal Mail drivers and fleet managers.
  2. Fleet Bi-directional Charging (FLEXET) by Otaski Energy Solutions: Securing £1.5 million in funding, this project led by Otaski Energy Solutions will trial a bi-directional EV charger with its multi-input multi-output (MIMO) DC-DC converter, integrated with Syselek’s telematics system. Collaborating with the University of Leeds, FLEXET aims to demonstrate the benefits of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology, emphasizing energy flexibility, reduced carbon footprint, and improved energy efficiency. The project also addresses smart charging limitations for EV fleet operators.
  3. Hangar19 with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR): Receiving £1 million in funding, this project focuses on demonstrating a three-socket bidirectional charger in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover. This initiative aims to expand the range of EVs eligible for energy flexibility and bidirectional charging.
  4. 3ti Energy Hubs in Leatherhead: With a funding of £1.3 million, this project aims to combine a quick-to-deploy bidirectional charging hub with a solar canopy and energy storage battery housed in recycled shipping containers. The objective is to make bidirectional charging more accessible, especially in vehicle depots and various destinations.

These projects collectively form part of the broader Flexibility Innovation Programme, contributing to the efficient and flexible use of electricity and aligning with the UK’s commitment to achieving Net Zero emissions. The funding signifies a strategic investment in advancing sustainable transportation and energy solutions.

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Source(s): BNN Bloomberg

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