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Consortium formed to promote vehicle-to-grid charging

John Wood ·
Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles
Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles
  (Photo:  )

Octopus Energy has launched a new consortium to develop the first large-scale domestic trial of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging in the UK, following a £3m funding injection by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

Comprising Octopus Energy, Octopus Electric Vehicles, UK Power Networks, ChargePoint Services, Open Energi, Energy Saving Trust and Navigant, the consortium aims to roll out vehicle-to-grid charging technology to UK electric vehicle (EV) drivers this year.

The £7m project will install 135 V2G chargers in a ‘cluster’ delivery model that will facilitate research into the impact of widespread EV rollout on the UK’s electricity grid.

The project will investigate the benefits of using domestic electric vehicle batteries to provide grid flexibility, cheaper transport and energy to homeowners, and faster decarbonisation of the UK's power and transport sectors.

Customers will be able to discover electric vehicles, take them for a test drive and access a special V2G bundle, Octopus PowerLoop, when leasing a V2G compatible car.

A two-way charger will enable the driver to charge their vehicle intelligently, using their vehicle battery to power their home during peak times or selling spare power back to the grid – creating value for the driver.

The technology could enable electric vehicles to act as battery packs for the grid, helping to solve the challenge of how to harness the full potential of renewable energy while making sure that it is always available on demand.

Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles, commented: “There has been a lot of talk from the sidelines about how vehicle-to-grid technology will change the face of energy, but with this consortium we will be the first in the UK to actually deliver it to hundreds of households. We're delighted to be working with this consortium of visionary companies, and proud to be backed by Innovate UK.”

Alex Bamberg, managing director, ChargePoint Services, said: “ChargePoint Services’ GeniePoint Network continues to be at the cutting edge of delivering the smartest and most reliable electric vehicle charging network in the UK. With this consortium, we join with existing partners to enable us to provide real benefits to the end user both in terms of efficiency and reduced cost.”

Ian Cameron, head of innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “Electric vehicles are effectively energy sources on wheels, so there are tremendous opportunities to explore how electricity networks can use any spare capacity in those batteries to benefit our customers.

“In the future you could use your car battery to power your house or earn money by selling its spare energy back into the network at peak times, and all of this while ensuring you have enough energy for your next day’s commute. We’re innovating to keep our customers moving at the lowest possible cost.”

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