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Parked EVs Could Generate $1,530 Annually in Europe

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【Summary】From a global perspective, power consumption rates from charging EVs are expected to increase rapidly – from six terawatt-hours to 1,800 terawatt-hours by 2040, based on data provided by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) researchers.

Michael Cheng    Aug 16, 2017 2:30 PM PT
Parked EVs Could Generate $1,530 Annually in Europe

Incentives for owning electric vehicles (EVs) are currently winning over individuals who are considering making the big switch over to sustainable transportation. In Europe, residents can add another perk to the long list of benefits that EVs bring to the table.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), EV owners in the region could earn up to $1,530 per year by allowing local grids to utilize excess power. This is a huge milestone in the introduction of EVs in Europe, as some countries are having a difficult time managing surges in electricity consumption during charging. From a global perspective, power consumption rates from charging EVs are expected to increase rapidly – from six terawatt-hours to 1,800 terawatt-hours by 2040, based on data from BNEF researchers.

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Networks

EV pioneers are looking to V2G networks to facilitate the balancing of power in the region. The system works by allowing plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to send data to the local grid about their status. Considering that private cars are parked around 90 percent of the time, creating a consistent flow of electricity from EVs to the distribution network is a feasible solution for large cities.

Currently, automotive groups are working on handling adaptive charging, overload protection, peak shaving, emergency backup and frequency balancing on a business-wide scale.

"If you blindingly deploy in the market a massive number of electric cars without any visibility or control over the way they impact the electricity grid, you might create new problems," said Francisco Carranza, director of energy services at Nissan Europe, in an interview with BNEF.

To ensure EV charging hubs will be used for such purposes, cities could consider issuing fines for non-EV owners parked in charging stations. This is the solution officials from Reno introduced last month. Surprisingly, the move received positive feedback from the local council. At this time, all of Reno's 30 charging stations are located in front of businesses and high-traffic institutions, such as schools.

New EU V2G Projects

Pilot programs throughout Europe are underway, which leverages V2G networks to promote the feature on a large scale. In a trial in Denmark, Nissan has partnered with Enel, an Italian utility company, to better understand how power from EVs could be used to balance power consumption during peak periods. The collaboration focuses on allocating power evenly, so that downtimes are greatly minimized.

"Enel is taking major steps in the development of smart grids with the aim of effectively integrating renewables into distribution grids, as well as creating an active role for the customer in the energy market," said Livio Gallo, Head of Global Infrastructure and Networks at Enel.

The pilot consists of 100 vehicles – all of which are able to earn money from the closed trial. It's important to highlight that due to existing barrier-to-entry challenges, the program must incorporate roughly 150 cars before participants can get paid for their efforts. The group intends to cross this goal by the end of 2017. Other groups taking part in the project includes Mitsubishi, PSA Group, Nuvve and Insero. 

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