EDF Energy is releasing a series of blog posts related to the announcement to add 1,500 smart chargers in the United Kingdom.
The government’s plan to ban the sale of new petrol or diesel vehicles from 2040 has put electric vehicles (EVs) firmly in the spotlight. So we’re pleased to announce our partnership with Nuvve Corporation, a green energy technology company, to install around 1,500 EV chargers for our UK business customers. But these aren’t just ordinary chargers – they’re vehicle-to-grid (or V2G) chargers.
What are V2G chargers?
Nuvve’s bi-directional smart chargers allow a two-way flow of electricity between the vehicle and the charger. In simple terms, this means they can return electricity they haven’t used back to the charger. This can then help supply energy when demand on the electricity grid is high.
How it works
Nuvve specializes in flexible solutions for electric vehicle charging, which means your EV fleet is charged at cheap, off-peak times with preferences set by you. Then, any surplus electricity is sold back to the Grid and we credit you for the number of kWhs you export to the Grid or to your building, reducing your site’s import from the Grid. The whole process is managed using the Nuvve Grid Integrated Vehicle (GIVeTM) software combined with EDF Energy’s Powershift platform, which we’ve developed to help businesses shift or reduce their electricity use from the Grid at peak times. Nuvve’s V2G solution enables EV batteries to both store and discharge electricity generated from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and to resell unused energy back to the electric grid.
Think about how long your existing cars or vans are parked. With EVs and a V2G charger, they could actually be making you money at this time. In fact, installing a charger like this could potentially save you enough to run your EVs for free. (You could also use the extra electricity yourself or participate in energy markets by trading your stored energy or monetising further through flexibility schemes.)
Taking the expense out of EVs
If you think switching your fleet to EVs is too costly, installing V2G chargers could be the answer. Yes, initially EVs are more expensive to buy than petrol or diesel cars (although it’s worth pointing out that they’re cheaper to run and maintain in the long run – have a look at our interview with Niall Riddell, EDF Energy’s EV expert, for more info). But you can offset this by generating revenue from your chargers. This could save you hundreds of pounds for each EV you buy.
You’ll also be helping the planet
It’s not just about putting money in your business’s pocket. Installing V2G chargers is also great for the environment. Selling your extra energy back means more renewable energy in the power network. This makes it more flexible, meaning it’s easier to add more renewables to the Grid in future. That’s because the nature of renewable energy is inherently unpredictable (as we can’t be sure when the sun’s going to shine, or the wind’s going to blow). So being able to add our own clean energy back helps take the pressure off other types of generation.
What else can V2G do?
V2Gs are part of smart grid technology. A smart grid uses digital communication to detect and react to changes in energy use. The potential for this type of technology to change the way we consume energy is massive. Smart meters are the first step in getting this up and running, as they give consumers and businesses the ability to see exactly how they’re using energy. Another big part is demand-side response (or DSR), where the National Grid pays businesses to turn up, turn down or shift energy use when needed. This makes it easier to integrate renewable energy into the power network, and helps get the most from variable power sources like wind and solar. V2G could be a key catalyst in moving to smart grids.
EDF Energy, part of EDF Group, is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, meeting around one-fifth of the country’s demand and supplying millions of customers and businesses with electricity and gas. In the UK, the company employs around 13,000 people at locations across England and Scotland. Learn more at edfenergy.com.