The scientists from the University of Delaware created an electric car prototype that runs on electricity alone. The great fact is that it also can, theoretically, earn money for its owner by storing electricity and providing it for utilities when needed. The technology is called “V2G” (Vehicle To Grid). It basically lets the electric current flow back and forth from the car’s battery to the grid power lines and back.
Willett Kempton, UD associate professor of marine policy and a researcher for V2G who began developing the technology more than 10 years ago and who is now testing the new prototype vehicle, said: “When I get home, I’ll charge up and then switch into V2G mode”.
When the car has the V2G setting activated, the battery’s charge goes to the grid or from the grid, depending on the needs of the grid operator. V2G acts like a buffer, fact which helps utilities who pay millions to diesel generating stations that the grid balance. The value for utilities could be up to $4,000 a year for the service, estimates Kempton, part of which could be paid to drivers who use V2G.
If you share that earned value on the half with the utility, and the V2G owner might actually cover a pretty important portion of his car payment, over the years. That kind of non-standard financing could enable faster commercial development of cars using V2G.
Kempton says that the V2G system will work on a large scale because at any time of day about 95 percent of all US cars are parked. He says: “A car sitting there with a tank of gasoline in it, that’s useless”. “If it’s a battery storing a lot of electricity and a big plug that allows moving power back and forth quickly, then it’s valuable.”
V2G is a good starting point for those who want to adopt electric vehicles and in the mean time be helped to pay for it. It is an option for the regular citizen, who can’t afford spending five figures on an electric car…