A project to explore the use of electric vehicles as a means of storing energy for an office building is to be pioneered in the Netherlands.

Hitachi Europe, Mitsubishi Motors, and Engie are partnering on the first ‘vehicle to everything’ EV charger to energy firm Engie’s office in Zaandam, with the aim of providing grid flexibility services and boosting the overall energy efficiency of the building.
EV charging
The project used Hitachi’s V2X Charger, which the global electronics and engineering company claims is the first EV recharging technology able to both power up an electric car as well as discharge the energy back into a building or grid via a variety of different routes.

It is also possible to connect solar panels and external energy storage directly to the V2X Charger “allowing a much more efficient electricity supply to buildings”, Hitachi explained.

Business Green reports that the V2X Charger is connected to the building’s energy supply and, when the building generates more solar power than it needs, this excess energy is stored in the battery of the electric car, the consortium explained.

The resulting energy can then be discharged back into the grid when appropriate, and the car battery therefore acts as an energy storage source, as well as an emergency power supply.

Vincent Cobee, corporate vice president at Mitsubishi Motors, said the aim of the project was to show how EVs and plug in hybrid vehicles could be a “vital” component of urban energy systems. “This demonstration will help providing a new energy solution for energy efficient, low carbon smart buildings,” he said.

Buildings and transport together currently account for around 75 per cent of the total carbon emissions of services-focused companies, according to the three firms.

The consortium therefore hopes the next stage of the pilot will demonstrate how EVs, renewable energy, and building energy management systems can work together to enable buildings to become ‘energy neutral’, thereby reducing emissions and cutting costs.

Hans Boot, chief operating officer at Engie Services Netherlands, said the project would provide a “powerful demonstration of the outstanding effectiveness of energy storage technology”.