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New Electric Nation project aims to highlight V2G benefits

By / 1 month ago / UK News / No Comments

Western Power Distribution (WPD), in partnership with CrowdCharge, has launched the next phase of Electric Nation with a new Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trial across the Midlands, South West and South Wales.

The Electric Nation Vehicle-to-Grid project is aiming to recruit 100 Nissan owners to participate

The Electric Nation Vehicle-to-Grid project is aiming to recruit 100 Nissan owners to participate

The V2G electric vehicle trial, run by CrowdCharge, is recruiting 100 Nissan electric vehicle drivers who live in the three regions to participate, with each gaining the free installation of smart chargers worth £5,500.

The trial sets out to provide learning and a potential solution to the anticipated problem of the nation switching to electric vehicles, which would put strain on the existing national grid structure. 38 million electric vehicles would demand the equivalent to 14 times the electrical energy of London.

Smart charging, which allows management of the time when EV charging occurs will help to avoid demand peaks between 5-7pm, when many people typically return home and are expected to plug-in their vehicle. However, V2G charging is expected to be more effective due to its ability to link EVs together and put significant levels of energy back into the grid at peak times. This should help reduce the grid’s need for additional energy generation at peak times by balancing the load rather than merely delaying it.

V2G charging will help to transform EVs from being seen as a challenge in relation to grid capacity issues to being a solution as an additional source of energy. However, presently V2G charging is unsupported by most electric vehicles on sale today, excepting those equipped with the CHAdeMO rapid charge standard, such as the Nissan Leaf. An update is due soon to add V2G functionality to the European Combined Charging Standard (CCS).

The Electric Nation project is using up to five different energy suppliers, which it claims makes the trial a more realistic simulation of a future street with a number of EVs using V2G chargers operated by different energy suppliers.

Roger Hey, WPD’s DSO systems and projects manager, said: “By harnessing flexible systems and introducing V2G charging, it means that we can build a far more efficient and flexible network that doesn’t require billions of investment and a huge uplift in capacity.

Mike Potter, CEO of CrowdCharge, commented: “Vehicle to grid charging 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. This trial will study the real-world effects of V2G and look to provide a smart solution to provide management of electric vehicle charging. The project can provide an important insight into how the market and the DNO can operate for maximum benefit for all customers.”

The V2G trial follows the first Electric Nation trial from 2018/19 which, at the time, was the world’s largest EV smart charging trial. The trial provided data from more than two million hours of car charging, revealing user habits on timings of charge, where and for how long, as well as the impact of different tariffs.

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. Recruitment will take place from June 2020, with installations yet to be confirmed due to coronavirus restrictions.

Trial applicants:

  • Must be resident in the Western Power Distribution (WPD) licence area (Midlands, South West and South Wales)
  • Must have a Nissan EV with a battery capacity of at least 30kWh or more
  • Need to have the vehicle until the end of the trial (March 2022)
  • Need to have off-road parking
  • Will use the CrowdCharge mobile app to manage charging
  • May need to switch to a new energy tariff if required by their assigned project energy supplier
  • May need to have a new smart meter put in/updated as part of the project participation.

For more information and to apply to join the project visit www.electricnation.org.uk

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.