Electric vehicles to power-up the grid

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The government has announced £20m of funding will be invested in helping to develop electric vehicles that can return power to the grid, or people’s homes.

Research plan

With 100,000 electric vehicles on UK roads and 11,000 charging points, the environmentally friendly transport could start to become a realistic source of electricity when not on the road.

The funding is to be split between three main areas:

  • feasibility studies
  • industrial research and development (for example, more advanced charging systems)
  • demonstration vehicle to grid projects across the country

Next stage of vehicle to grid products

The funding is subject to a competition. Successful entrants will be notified in December and the project is anticipated to start in 2018.

Simon Edmonds, Manufacturing and Materials Director at Innovate UK, said: “These competitions present ground-breaking opportunities for UK businesses to develop the next stage of vehicle to grid products and services. The potential of these technologies are huge, both for businesses and consumers.”

Energy expert analysis

It is the support for electric vehicles that can return electricity to the grid, which is perhaps most significant. As this technology becomes mainstream, it has implications for the UK’s electricity provision system, particularly if development bottlenecks are to be avoided.

Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons

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