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Vehicle to grid tech gains traction

Posted: 23 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:vehicle to grid? plug-in electric vehicle? power management?

According to Pike Research, vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies are forecast to become major power management options. According to the research firm, by 2017, about 90,000 light-duty vehicles and 1,500 medium/heavy duty trucks will be enabled with V2G technologies.

The batteries used in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will be increasingly used by property owners and grid operators to provide various energy services. The power potential of the batteries can be used to reduce the utility costs of a building or, when aggregated with other vehicles or stationary energy storage sources, provide ancillary services such as frequency regulation.

"V2G technologies are currently in the early pilot phase, with much work left to do before they will be ready for full commercialization," noted John Gartner, research director at Pike Research. "The earliest adopters will be fleet operators and large consumers of energy where vehicles have established schedules for being plugged in. As the sector develops, V2G will be utilized for an increasing array of grid support services."

Gartner added that the highest demand for V2G, especially in the early years, will be in energy markets that are more open to new technologies and with higher concentrations of intermittent renewable power. As adoption grows, V2G will compete with traditional generation sources as well as with emerging technologies such as stationary battery storage.

Pike Research's analysis indicates that investment in V2G by automakers, utilities and energy aggregators will be strongly influenced by the global and regional penetration of PEVs. Dozens of PEVs must be aggregated in a given area to produce sufficient power capacity to interest grid operators and industry participants are waiting for these vehicles to be in place in ample numbers before developing programs. The number of vehicles that could participate in V2G will grow from just more than 100,000 light duty vehicles this year to more than five million in 2017. But substantial investment in infrastructure and vehicle-based technology will be necessary to enable V2G services on a large scale.

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