New technology which will unlock the potential for electric vehicles to help power people’s homes, and deliver electricity back to the grid, is being boosted by almost £30m in government funding.

The funding has been awarded to 21 V2G (vehicle to grid) projects, to pay for research and design and development, with the aim of exploring and trialling both the technology itself and commercial opportunities.

These schemes will demonstrate how energy stored in electric vehicle batteries could be borrowed by the electricity system during peak hours, before being recharged during the off-peak in time for their drivers to set off on their next journey.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “As the number of electric vehicles grows and their battery capabilities increase, there is a huge opportunity for them to make a significant contribution to a smart grid.

“These projects are at the cutting edge of their field. Just like the visionary designs of Brunel and Stephenson in transport, they could revolutionise the ways in which we store and manage electricity, both now and in the future.”

The first large-scale domestic trial of V2G charging in the UK was launched last month by a consortium including Octopus Energy.

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 Octopus Powerloop will be the first in the UK to actually deliver it to hundreds of households. We’re delighted to be working with a consortium of visionary companies, and proud to be backed by Innovate UK."

Mark Thompson, senior innovation lead at Innovate UK, added: “Vehicle-to- Grid is one of the most iconic parts of the electric vehicle domain, and one that represents a great opportunity for engaging society with the energy system for win-win benefit. The Octopus V2G project is part of a creative, diverse and ambitious group of V2G projects announced today that are way ahead of anything being done currently worldwide, and give the UK a genuine competitive edge in the electrification of transport.”