A project run by Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge to demonstrate how electric vehicles (EVs) can provide V2G services – such as selling power back to the national grid – Electric Nation is different to other V2G projects because it is using four different energy partners instead of just one.
It claims this means the project is a more realistic simulation of a future world in which many streets will have a number of EVs using V2G chargers with energy suppliers that are diverse and of varying sizes.
Twenty-five applicants to the Electric Nation V2G trial will be offered the opportunity to join the project with the British Gas and CrowdCharge proposition. Applicants will be required to switch electricity supplier to British Gas if they are not already with the company and to go onto the latest British Gas two-rate fixed ‘Electric Drivers’ (electricity-only) tariff for the one-year customer trial. This tariff has two different daily rates giving EV owners cheaper off-peak electricity between 12am – 5am every day. There is no export tariff for this proposition.
EV drivers will inform the CrowdCharge platform when they next need their car and how much energy (or how many miles) they will need for the next day. The first priority for CrowdCharge is to ensure these requirements are met. EVs are often plugged in for over 12 hours overnight but may only need an average of one to two hours of charge. This allows considerable time and flexibility to fit in the EV charging overnight.
Says Americo Lenza, Portfolio Director, British Gas Services & Solutions, which includes connected home products by Hive:
“British Gas is thrilled to be named as a partner for the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project. This trial is all about putting our customers in charge of their energy future. We see a time when our cars, or even the humble hot water tank, can be used as an energy store for excess wind or solar power, storage that can then be discharged when the wind isn’t blowing. This not only helps the UK transition to a net-zero future but means we can unlock savings for customers and help us all live more sustainably.”
Adds Mike Potter, CEO of CrowdCharge:
“A key element of Electric Nation has been to include a diverse range of different energy partners, in order to more realistically simulate the vehicle to grid charging landscape in the future. This is why we’re delighted to have British Gas as an energy partner for the project, and we look forward to discovering participants’ views about the different approaches and tariffs of a range of energy suppliers.”
Electric Nation is recruiting 100 Nissan EV owners in the WPD licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales to take part in the trial of V2G smart charging technology. Currently, only Nissan EVs can be used for V2G charging due to their CHAdeMO technology.
The trial, which is offering free installation of the V2G smart chargers worth £5,500, will help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and others to understand how V2G charging could work with their electricity networks.
For more information and to apply to join the project visit www.electricnation.org.uk