The government has announced a £30m funding for new technology that will unlock the potential for electric vehicle (EVs) to help power people’s homes.
Through the Industrial Strategy, the government has outlined its commitment to becoming a leader in shaping the future of mobility and in the design and development of clean technologies of the future.
The £30m investment will support vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies that could enable EVs to deliver electricity back to the smart grid to light homes and power businesses. The funding has been awarded to 21 V2G projects to meet research and design and development costs, explore and trial the technology itself and commercial opportunities.
The schemes, including EDF Energy’s V2GO scheme, will showcase how energy stored in EV batteries could be borrowed by the electricity system during peak hours, before being recharged during the off-peak in time for the drivers to set off on their next journey. Using EVs in dense urban areas will reduce local emissions and improve air quality, quality of life for residents and benefit businesses.
Led by EDF Energy R&D UK, the V2GO is a large-scale demonstration of V2G charging in Oxford using 100 EVs (cars and vans) from various organisations, including delivery and taxi companies. The project will develop, trial and evaluate potential business models for fleet operators’ use of electric vehicles and their suitability for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging.
The consortium comprises eight organisations involved in energy and power markets and systems, fleet operation value chains and electric mobility – EDF Energy R&D UK, University of Oxford, Oxfordshire County Council, Arrival, EO Charging, Upside Energy, and Fleet Innovation.
These electric vehicles will also provide a cleaner alternative to fleet vehicles operated in UK cities, including Royal Mail vans, and Addison Lee taxis. Run by Innovate UK, the competition for government funding saw several winners, including SSE Services, Nissan, OVO Energy, Octopus Energy, Cisco, Flexisolar and AT Kearney.
Innovate UK had recently concluded the assessment process, with OLEV and BEIS providing almost £30m grant to fund industry-led collaborative R&D in ‘vehicle-to-grid’ technology for up to 70% of project costs.