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Vehicle-to-grid trial reveals growth in multi-EV households

Electric Nation V2G project recruits Nissan EV owners

Mark Moran
08 July 2020

Many households with an electric vehicle already have a second EV or are considering getting one in the near future. However, this ‘clustering’ will place further load on the local electricity network.

Charging an EV at home is equivalent to an extra house in terms of electricity demand. However by using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, EVs can put energy back into the grid at peak times, so reducing the need for extra electricity generation or network reinforcement.

The Electric Nation V2G project aims to demonstrate how V2G technology can provide a solution to potential electricity grid capacity issues as the numbers of EVs increase. Electric Nation is being run by Western Power Distribution (WPD) in partnership with CrowdCharge.

The first Electric Nation project from 2018-19 provided real life insight into people’s habits when charging their vehicle. The trial provided data from more than two million hours of car charging, revealing user habits on the location, timings and length of charge, as well as the impact of different tariffs.

The new V2G trial’s organisers have found numbers of EVs per household are rising alongside increasing nationwide EV adoption rates. Over 20% of applicants to the V2G trial already have two or more EVs at their property, and 48% said they are either likely or very likely to acquire a second EV in the future, or they have already ordered a second EV.

A number of surveys have suggested that people are giving more consideration to EVs as the UK comes out of COVID-19 lockdown, and green number plates are set to be rolled out from autumn to help encourage drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles, under plans to drive a green economic recovery. Electric Nation believes these developments are good news for local air quality, but the extra demand on local electricity networks needs to be managed.

The trial is recruiting 100 Nissan EV owners in the WPD licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales. Currently, only Nissan EVs are able to be used for V2G charging due to their CHAdeMO technology.

One week after the Electric Nation V2G project was launched, 200 EV drivers had applied to join the project, and the following data had emerged:

  • 95% of applicants have a Nissan LEAF, 5% have a Nissan e-NV200
  • 20% of applicants currently have two EVs at their property
  • 1% of applicants have more than two EVs at their property
  • 3% of applicants with one EV have ordered a second EV
  • 18% of applicants with one EV are very likely to acquire a second EV in the future
  • 27% of applicants with one EV are likely to acquire a second EV in the future
  • 41% of applicants with two EVs also had a Nissan LEAF as their second EV.

As well as many households having more than one EV, applicants are already taking action in the area of energy, with 45% having solar PV installed at their property, and 14% having a domestic stationary battery storage device.

Electric Nation is using up to five different energy suppliers instead of just one. This is designed to give the trial a more realistic simulation of a future world in which streets will have a number of EVs using V2G chargers operated by different energy suppliers.

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

In the Electric Nation trial each supplier will use their chargers to test their various energy services utilising CrowdCharge’s demand management charger platform, which provides optimised charging sessions.

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 is taking place from June 2020.

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 installed or updated as part of the project participation.

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