Electric cars: new funding for ‘innovative’ vehicle-to-grid technology

12.00 | 12 July 2017 | | 1 comment

The Government has invested £20m towards the development of electric vehicles capable of returning electricity to the grid.

The new investment, announced on 8 July, will support vehicle-to-grid projects and is part of Government plans to create a smarter energy system – while increasing the number of electric cars on UK roads.

The projects will investigate technology that allows plug-in electric vehicles to not only draw power from the grid when charging, but return it to people’s homes.

The funding will be awarded to three types of vehicle-to-grid projects: 

  • Feasibility studies – investigating the ways vehicle to grid technology can be used in the future
  • Industrial research or experimental development – for example, to develop vehicle-to-grid charging equipment
  • Demonstrator trials in the real-world environment – projects that trial vehicle to grid technology in different locations across the country 

There are already 100,000 electric cars and 11,000 charge points across the UK. The Government says as this number grows electric vehicles will become a ‘resource for a smart electricity grid’ – bringing benefits for drivers and creating a more flexible and efficient energy system.

Claire Perry, minister of state for climate change and industry, said: “Vehicle to grid technology provides another opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world our leading expertise in research and development which is at the heart of our ambitious Industrial Strategy.

“This competition could unlock significant economic benefits for the UK – helping to create jobs in this burgeoning sector while helping to reduce our emissions.”

The Government also says the new funding shows its commitment to innovative technologies – adding that more than £600m is already being invested to accelerate the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

Jesse Norman, transport minister, said: “Electric vehicles are already helping thousands of motorists cut their fuel costs, and now there is an extra financial incentive for motorists to go green.

“The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is at record levels, with the latest figures showing that there are over 100,000 plug-in cars and vans registered.

“The Government’s ambition is that nearly all cars and vans on our roads are zero emission by 2050.”

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    Just a question. Let’s presume that half the cars used in the future will be electronically powered and they may have to be charged overnight or topped up again during the day. How much power do they need supplying with during those hours and could our present power stations cope with the overload? Its possible that several more power stations would be necessary to be built to cope with the power requirements and at what cost to the country and that of the environment.

    Further its possible that we would lose the low cost of low powered electricity at night time and so our costs will rise as a result. Makes one think again.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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