Vehicle-to-grid charging: could your electric car pay the bills?

Because she uses solar panels to charge her EV, she was also able to take advantage of the V2G charger’s ability to use the electricity in her car’s battery to power her home. This resulted in a halving of her monthly electricity bill from £ 50 to £ 25.

In November 2021, when energy costs soared, some participants made as much as £ 50 per day selling their electricity back to the grid. However, this was an exceptional period. In 2021, an earlier project funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV, now OZEV) and involving companies including Nissan and Ovo Energy reported that participants had earned up to £ 725 a year selling their electricity.

Mike Potter, CEO of Crowd Charge, said the Electric Nation trial had demonstrated not only the financial benefits of V2G but also consumers’ willingness to embrace the concept. “Proof of this is that over half of the participants have chosen to keep their chargers,” he said.

An incentive may have been that to buy their own would each have cost them £ 5500 – or around £ 4500 more than a conventional charger.

In its report on the 2021 OZEV trial, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) predicted mass production of V2G chargers would have prices fall to around £ 1000 and believed the payback period could “comfortably be below five years”.

Looking to the future, Potter said that expansion of V2G would, by helping to balance the grid and encourage greater use of cheaper, renewable energy, lead to lower energy prices but, by extension, lower V2G energy resale prices too. “To compensate them, energy companies might pay customers an infrastructure payment for storing electricity,” he added.

Critics of V2G say users can already benefit from lower tariffs by investing in the new generation of intelligent chargers that connect users with the cheapest ones the moment they become available, rather than at pre-determined hours.

Iain Walker, commercial director of Ohme, supplier of the Home Pro intelligent charger that promises a potential £ 1000 reduction in electricity costs, said: “The Home Pro already helps to balance demand by integrating with the grid in real time, which is smarter, cheaper and easier for drivers than V2G in its current form. “

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