The rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) and associated charging infrastructure will create fundamental challenges to energy systems without smart charging – unmanaged charging of large numbers of EVs from the grid would require major investments to expand capacity to avoid overloading the system. Conversely, if they can be widely deployed, EV battery smart charging technologies not only have the potential to solve grid capacity issues but also provide an opportunity to enhance grid flexibility, lower system costs and reduce emissions.
CRA and Hubject Consulting have combined our teams of energy and eMobility experts to bring more clarity on the smart EV charging opportunity, more specifically Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) – an idea often labelled as a ‘golden solution’ to enable power grids to cope with the incremental load from charging millions of EVs whilst also better integrating more intermittent renewables into the system.
In this article, we define the various types of smart charging, review the evolution of V2G, discuss current challenges, and evaluate the potential of V2G. Moreover, we assess the rationale for using EVs to provide energy services, identify implications of not achieving V2G in the long term, and discuss value pools and business model options for industry participants. In follow-up pieces we will highlight implications for participants and the need for higher levels of collaboration through implementation roadmaps and identification of barriers that must be overcome to unlock the true V2G potential for all participants – from consumers, to OEMs, to grid operators, to energy suppliers.