A consortium of organisations is working on a proposal to use vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging to reduce automotive costs and increase the number of electric vehicles on UK roads, which it believes will generate £5 billion annually.

The consortium is made up of Nissan, the National Grid, Western Power Distribution, Moixa, Element Energy, Energy Systems Catapult and the Nissan’s European Technical Centre. The group aims to take advantage of V2G, where electric vehicles are left plugged into two-way charging points when not in use, enabling their batteries to supply power to the wider network. This will provide additional power to charging stations during peak hours without the need for additional electricity to be produced.

“Electric vehicles will play a key role in decarbonising road transport but put new demands on our power network,” said Chris Wright, Moixa chief technology officer.

“V2G could bring major savings, by managing this demand and reducing the need for costly upgrades.”

Analysis by Element Energy suggests that without V2G, electric vehicles could account for 30% of new car sales in the UK by 2030, a total of 4.7 million vehicles; but if the technology is adopted across the country, electric cars would account for 40% of new sales, and that there would be 6.5 million on the road.

Wright attributes this shift towards electric vehicles and V2G charging to two key reasons. “Firstly, EVs have progressed through the market stages, from ‘early adopter’ to ‘early scale’,” he said.

“Secondly, aggregation platforms utilising internet technologies, such as our GridShare platform, are beginning to unlock the potential capacity of home and vehicle batteries for use by the grid.”

Moixa reports that ten Nissan LEAF cars can store as much energy through V2G as 1,000 homes consume in an hour. In addition, the company’s technical centre will provide data on driver behaviour.

The consortium will publish its findings in a study entitled V2GB – Vehicle to Grid Britain, one of 21 projects currently competing for funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Innovate UK. These projects involve more than 50 industrial partners, and are trialling over 2,700 vehicles across the UK; they have each been given a share of £30 million to develop their propositions.

“We plan to roll out our GridShare technology and enable mass integration of EVs as grid services through a series of strategic partnerships,” Wright added.

“One very interesting development of this technology would be if the bi-directional element of the power supply was integrated into the EVs themselves. At the moment this is done on a relatively expensive charge point mounted on a house or office; if it was in the vehicles, this could become universal and potentially cheaper to implement.”