Energy network firms National Grid, Northern Powergrid and UK Power Networks have joined forces with a Nissan-led consortium to roll out a ‘world-first’ £9.8 million trial for 1,000 vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers.

The e4Future project was announced by Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) as part of a drive to fully integrate electric vehicles (EVs) into the grid, increasing its ability to use and integrate renewable energy plus alleviate pressure.

V2Gs can empower business fleets or private motorists to charge their batteries during low-demand, cheap tariff periods. They can  either use it or feed it back into the grid in exchange for revenue or lower bills.

The consortium also includes V2G technology experts Nuvve, and researchers from Newcastle University and Imperial College London.

At present there are too few EVs to make an impact, and it is estimated that two million will be needed to reduce carbon emissions.

This project is part of a £30 million investment from BEIS – working with the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK. It wants nearly all cars to be zero emission by 2050.

Francisco Carranza, managing director of Nissan Energy at Nissan Europe, said: “Nissan has been saying for a long time that the future is electric. To ensure Nissan plays a wider role in the advancement and protection of our cities, our electric V2G-ready vehicles will be used as clean mobile energy units.

“Nissan has also reiterated its bold mission to offer customers free power for their EVs. V2G introduction will change the rules of the game and make energy cheaper for everyone.”

Last year Newcastle University installed one the UK’s first V2G chargers with Nissan, Nuvve and Northern Powergrid.

Software company, Nuvve, have a platform capable of optimising highly distributed EV batteries and stationary storage at the edge of the grid.

Myriam Neaimeh, Newcastle University’s project lead, said the announcement was a real ‘game-changer’ towards de-carbonising the grid. “This will have a fundamental impact on the shift from fossil fuels to renewable.”

The announcement was made a day after the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill passed through the House of Commons, which includes improving network charging points.


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