Companies involved in the projects include electricity distributor UK Power Networks, utility SSE, China’s BYD, Octopus Energy and the University of Leeds.
Vehicle to grid (V2G) technology enables energy stored in an electric vehicle’s battery to be fed back into the grid at times of peak demand.
The four projects are an initiative to set up V2G technology in a 30-bus garage; a 1000-fleet vehicle trial; a domestic customer trial; and a public charging network with a local authority and a charge point provider which is targeted at the 60-70 per cent of Londoners without off-street charging capability.
The V2G competition is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy together with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and is delivered by Innovate UK.
Ian Cameron, Head of Innovation at UK Power Networks said: “Electric vehicles are effectively energy sources on wheels, so there are tremendous opportunities to explore how electricity networks can use any spare capacity in those batteries to benefit our customers.
“In the future you could use your car battery to power your house or earn money by selling its spare energy back into the network at peak times, and all of this whilst ensuring you have enough energy for your next day’s commute. We’re innovating to keep our customers moving at the lowest possible cost.”
Fiona Howarth, chief executive of Octopus Electric Vehicles, said there has been “a lot of talk about how vehicle-to-grid technology will change the face of energy, but with this consortium we will be the first in the UK to actually deliver it to hundreds of households. We’re delighted to be working with this consortium of visionary companies, and proud to be backed by Innovate UK.”
Ian Meikle, Infrastructure Systems Director at Innovate UK said: “The vehicle-to-grid competition is a significant step towards the transition to a low carbon transportation. The UK represents an ideal market for electric vehicles and smart energy, and the winning projects, the largest and most diverse of their kind in the world, demonstrate that by integrating energy and transportation sectors new business opportunities with clear advantages for EV users and energy consumers arise.”