A new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found that the batteries in electric vehicles could be used to store power at off-peak times, before being fed back into the national grid.
Electric vehicles (EVs) plugged in to a home with a Smart Grid will enable the owner to sell power back to the grid and help keep the network from overloading. Smart Grids are going to be essential as the number of people taking out car insurance on EVs increases and in fact may stop the National Grid from being overwhelmed by demand for electricity once EVs do get established. The report found that smart grid technologies, if rolled out nationally, would be the ideal partner to EVs. This is because they would enable demand management and therefore a reduction in peak electricity supply requirements. In the long term the advantages of using Smart Grids may even mean that fewer power stations would have to be built in the United Kingdom.
A Government spokesman said: “Vehicles are parked on average 95% of the time, providing ample opportunity for the batteries to be used in this way. Electric vehicle owners would be paid for this which would reduce the overall lifetime cost of owning such a vehicle. Electric vehicle owners would also have the added benefit that their vehicles could provide a backup supply in case of a power cut. Electric vehicles are being seen as the future of sustainable transport and the Government is particularly pinning its hopes on using it as a way to decarbonise transportation.”
This scenario would take off as soon as possible after 2020 which is the date the UK has set for the installation of smart meters into every building in the country. This is provided the concerns with privacy are dealt with. It has been assumed that off-peak priced electricity would only be available overnight, but the OECD report feels that smart grid technologies will allow these tariffs to apply automatically regardless of when the vehicle is being charged.