The concept is to enable electricity stored in the batteries of electric cars to be made available to the grid at times of high demand. The benefit to the grid is a greater availability of power; the plus for electric car drivers who participate in the scheme is a fee for their contribution back to the grid. Since at any given time 95 percent of cars are parked, the batteries in electric vehicles could be used to let electricity flow from the car to the electric distribution network and back.
The scheme is only designed to work at times of high grid demand; at times of low demand, electric vehicles are recharged as normal. For this to work, vehicles of the correct type are required. Drawing on a U.S. example of the scheme, Lisa Cagnolatti, from the Southern California Edison said that electric vehicle batteries need to be “capable of two-way electricity flow into and out of the power grid.” When this is the case, she told Forbes, this “allows them to go from simply consuming energy to potentially becoming a fully functioning component of the smart grid.”
In terms of technology, there are three primary versions of the vehicle-to-grid concept, all of which require the use of an onboard battery. The first is hybrid or fuel cell vehicle, which produces power from storable fuel; the second is a battery-powered hybrid vehicle; and the third is a solar vehicle.
With the Dutch study, the Amsterdam pilot is part of the City-Zen program. This sets out to create more energy-efficient cities throughout Europe. This will depend on how well the Amsterdam development turns out. The first results of the V2G-pilot are expected at the end of February 2018