Nissan-Ovo Partnership Offers Vehicle-to-Grid Charging System for Massive EV Savings

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【Summary】According to Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Ovo, the V2G charging program can cover the entire estimated annual cost of owning an EV for UK residents (in the range of $465 to $600 per year).

Michael Cheng    Oct 16, 2017 7:00 AM PT
Nissan-Ovo Partnership Offers Vehicle-to-Grid Charging System for Massive EV Savings

A major advantage of purchasing an EV is the availability of lucrative programs designed to reduce cost of long-term ownership. Such incentives include tollway reimbursement (in Norway), discounts during purchases and tax credits.

For UK residents, the cost of EV ownership is about to get more rewarding, thanks to a timely partnership between Nissan and Ovo – a Bristol, England-based energy supply company. The duo teamed up to release a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging system for EVs. The program is designed to allow owners of the 2018 Nissan Leaf to charge the unit and sell power to the energy firm during peak hours.

"In other words, the value of the electricity that's stored in the battery goes up by a factor of five," said Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Ovo. "It provides an economic benefit for electric vehicle owners, so they get more use of out of the vehicle that they've got parked in the driveway."

V2G Buy-back Program

According to Fitzpatrick, the process can cover the entire estimated annual cost of owning an EV (in the range of $465 to $600 per year). At the moment, the 2018 Nissan Leaf is the only car participating in the Nissan-Ovo V2G network. With such promising benefits, demand for the vehicle will likely increase. Nissan recently trialed the cutting-edge charging process in Denmark.

The process utilizes a unique V2G charger that individuals can use for energy exchanges between the connected power cell and the local grid. To maximize earnings, the system charges the battery during off-peak periods (cost of electricity is low). During peak hours, when the grid is strained due to high demand for electricity, the program ensures Ovo is able to buy energy directly from participants of the V2G buy-back program at a higher rate.

Addressing Large-scale Power Distribution

Nissan and Ovo expect other businesses in the sector to adopt the framework of its V2G charging program. The program is very applicable to UK, wherein the local government is actively looking for solutions to challenges with providing electricity for the growing number of EVs on the road. To bridge this gap, the National Grid issued several statements about the limitations of UK's infrastructure and outdated large-scale power distribution methods in serving large numbers of EVs, within relatively the same period on a regular basis (peak hours).

"They're both aware of this convergence and overlap between electricity production and EVs, but it is currently a tiny consideration for both industries," said Fitzpatrick. "But for both industries is it a one way street and the overlap is getting bigger and bigger."

According to Adele Peters from Fast Company, the number of EVs in the UK could reach one million by 2021. In a scenario involving 20,000 EVs charging simultaneously, an output of 200 MW (equivalent to power for 33,000 to 66,000 residential spaces) is needed to serve all of the units plugged into the grid. Should the country go fully electric (no internal combustion engine-powered cars on the road), a nationwide V2G charging network could generate up to 200 GW.

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