The UK Government has today announced a £4.8m fund, shared between four companies developing bidirectional EV charging technologies, which could enable families and businesses to utilise the power stored in their electric vehicles in their homes and premises.
These ‘Vehicle-to-Everything’ (V2X) technologies enable electricity stored in a vehicle’s battery to flow back into the grid, homes and/or workplaces, which can then be used to power other devices. Users are expected to save ‘hundreds of pounds’ on their energy bills by charging their EVs overnight when the costs are lower, utilising the necessary level of power on site and selling any excess back to the grid when prices are higher.
Businesses could benefit in an even greater way, by storing electricity in their fleets of EVs and using it to power their operations at a later date.
The bidirectional EV charging technologies are also expected to assist with intermittency issues associated with renewables such as wind and solar, given the natural fluctuations that occur, reducing the need for fossil fuels to provide for surges in demand, by allowing stored renewable energy to be sold into the grid instead.
The four successful companies and the EV charging technologies they are developing are:
- Hangar19 Ltd – developing a three-socket bidirectional charger, making a wider range of EVs available for energy flexibility and bidirectional charging.
- 3ti Energy Hubs Ltd – looking to combine a quick-to-deploy bidirectional EV charging hub with a solar canopy and energy storage battery, house in recycled shipping containers.
- Otaski Energy Solutions Ltd– trialling their bidirectional EV charger to enable fleet EV operators to access energy in a flexible way which could deliver savings in line with electricity supply and demand surges.
- Electric Green Limited – working with QEnergy to trial wireless V2X technology with a fleet of 20 delivery vehicles at Royal Mail.
Minister for Affordability and Skills Amanda Solloway said:
“The prospect of families being able to store energy on their doorstep in electric vehicles and use it to power their homes is incredibly exciting.
“This is exactly the sort of ingenuity and creativity that makes the UK one of the world’s most innovative nations.
“By backing this technology, we could save families hundreds of pounds a year, while also supporting jobs, investment and growth.”
The programme is part of the Government’s £65 million Flexibility Innovation Programme, supporting the efficient and flexible use of electricity, within the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).