Existing electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK could contribute more than 114MW to the National Grid, enough to power over 300,000 homes.
Research commissioned by Ovo Energy suggests the figure could be achieved based on the current 19,000 Nissan Leaf EVs registered in the UK using new vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers.
But the study found nine out of ten Brits (87 per cent) are not aware that V2G technology could enable stored renewable energy from EVs to be sold to the grid during peak times.
More than half (51 per cent) said they would chose an electric car over a petrol or diesel model if they could save money in the long run.
Tom Pakenham, director of electric vehicles, at OVO Energy, said: “People are clearly keen to start their green journey, but a lack of knowledge means many are unaware of the full benefits of harnessing renewable energy. To inspire people to be part of this solution, they’ll need convincing that this new technology would be a practical addition to their lives as well as safeguarding our environmental future.”
Although almost half of UK adults (47 per cent) that own or intend to purchase a car in the next 12 months said they would be put off from buying an electric car because of cost, 57 per cent would be more inclined to purchase an electric car if they received financial support from the government.
Despite this, 79 per cent are unaware of the government’s Plug-In Car Grant, which can help people save up to £4,500 on environmentally friendly electric and plug-in hybrid cars.
Elsewhere in the study 41 per cent said they would be more likely to invest in energy storage technology if it helped them save money.
But four out of five (81 per cent) were unaware of home batteries, which allow consumers to lower energy bills by storing energy when it is cheaper and using it when there is a spike in national demand and most expensive.
More than half (54 per cent) believe that without improved energy storage technology, it will not be “reliable enough” to move to a 100 per cent renewable energy future.