Vehicle-to-Grid: $1 Billion in Annual Grid Benefits?

Share this article:

An EPRI study finds that utilities and ratepayers can derive substantial value from large-scale deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) equipped to transmit power to the grid.

The International Energy Agency projects that by 2030 more than 130 million EVs will be on roads globally. Based on typical driving patterns, about 90% of EVs will be parked at any given time. These vehicles can potentially be grid-connected and available for dispatch to support grid operations. Many studies have documented grid benefits of managed or smart charging—systems through which a utility can remotely turn charging levels up, down, or off. But what is the value of taking smart charging a step further and deploying vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies that enable EVs to transmit power from their batteries to the grid? Such technologies can potentially lower grid operational costs by reducing peak demand, shifting load to off-peak times, and providing ancillary services.

EPRI researchers developed models to calculate the value of V2G-capable vehicles for California’s distribution systems. Key insights on what could happen:

  • V2G technology can provide 2–3 times the value of managed charging.
  • V2G technology can provide $671 million in annual grid benefits, based on 3.3 million EVs in 2030 (medium EV forecast) with half of those EVs V2G-enabled.
  • V2G technology can provide $1 billion in annual grid benefits, given 5 million EVs in 2030 (aggressive EV forecast and a California goal) with half of those V2G-enabled.
  • If half of California’s 600,000 EVs today were V2G-enabled, they could provide $39 million in annual net value from peak shaving and ramping support.

This study builds on results from several years of V2G technology development and demonstration by EPRI along with major auto manufacturers such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Honda R&D Americas. Funded by the California Energy Commission, the collaborative research is the first to combine evaluation of technology, valuation, and resource planning aspects of V2G.

Key EPRI Technical Experts:

Sunil Chhaya
For more information, contact techexpert@eprijournal.com.

Artwork by David Foster Graphics