Are we finally getting closer to using your EV to 'power' the electricity grid?
(Source: Virta V2G Study)

Are we finally getting closer to using your EV to 'power' the electricity grid?

Octopus Energy has launched the UK’s first mass market vehicle-to-grid (V2G) tariff (called the Octopus Power Pack), which they say guarantees free charging for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. The tariff, which is still in beta, uses V2G technology and Octopus Energy’s tech platform, Kraken, to balance charging and discharging when it’s best for the grid – charging up the car with cheap, green electricity during off peak times and exporting back to the grid when it needs it most.

Octopus Power Pack is available to drivers with V2G compatible electric cars and chargers available in the UK. Currently, there are only a limited number of models that have this capability.

The idea behind V2G is simple in concept, but a bit tougher to apply in practice. In simple terms, your EV becomes a battery storage system when it's parked up. It's a technology that could be a positive enabler for improved grid stability. 

Source: Virta V2G study

We have written about EV charging before, but we have been reluctant to talk too much about V2G. There were a number of trials being undertaken, and countries such as Australia had undertaken detailed studies (this is a good one if you want to understand how V2G works). But it felt as if it was still a reasonable distance away from commercialisation. 

In part, the challenge was the "chicken & egg situation".....

If automotive OEMs were not going to make their vehicles V2G ready, then why would the electricity providers set up the required hardware and software? And if there wasn't the infrastructure in place to use it, the automotive OEMs wouldn't really need to build it into their new models.

But that seems to be changing. Most of the global automotive OEMs have got behind the technology (at least in principle). And the most important laggard, Tesla, has recently indicated its support. Their Cybertruck (targeted launch 2025) is apparently aimed to be their first launch vehicle for the technology. 

So maybe it's time for investors and sustainability professionals to start taking a more active interest. If you do, remember that EV charging is unlikely to be a 'one for one' replacement, taking out petrol (gas) stations and replacing them with public EV chargers. 

Here is something we wrote on that previously 👉🏾

This article featured in What Caught Our Eye, a weekly email featuring stories we found particularly interesting during the week and why. We also give our lateral thought on each one. What Caught our Eye is available to read in full by members.

If you are not a member yet, you can read What Caught Our Eye when it comes out direct in your email inbox plus all of our blogs in full...

Click this link to register 👉🏾

Please read: important legal stuff.


Join the conversation

Become a member

Already have an account? Sign In