Development of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is considered to be an important factor for accelerating mainstream EV adoption, as it is a key tool for ensuring stabilization of the country’s electrical grid in a future where demand for electricity is expected to grow drastically, but also present an opportunity for EV owners to gain some extra income by selling the excess electricity that is stored in their vehicles.
That’s why a lot of automakers are focusing on development of V2G-enabled plug-in vehicles, and utility companies are working on creating smart infrastructure that can communicate with electric vehicles reliably and efficiently. Although the costs associated with the development of vehicle-grid integration (VGI) technology are quite high at the moment, it has a great revenue potential, according to a report recently published by Navigant Research. The report states that the market opportunities for VGI services in the future will be quite significant, estimating that the industry could reach nearly $21 million by 2024. This is a drastic increase compared to the $335,000 annual revenue in 2015.
“In development since before the Volt and LEAF were first sold in the Unites States, VGI technologies are designed to help make the grid more flexible and resilient, while also lowering electricity rates for owners of PEVs,” says Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research. “With global sales of PEVs surpassing 320,000 in 2014, pilot programs testing VGI technologies are proliferating, and this market has the opportunity to expand rapidly in the coming years.”
Navigant Research says that there are two possible categories for the VGI market. One is called V1G, where electric vehicles change the rate at which they consume electricity, and the other, V2G, involving plug-in vehicles supplying power to the grid. The report goes on to state that vehicle-to-grid services can help vehicle owners offset the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle, which are significantly pricier than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Vehicle-to-grid technologies allow EV owners to send power back to the grid and get paid for it, which definitely adds to the appeal of electric cars and makes buying one seem like a more reasonable investment.
Furthermore, Navigant Research predicts that electric vehicles could send as much as 4.2 gigawatts of electricity back to the grid each year by 2024 globally, provided that VGI services continue to grow at the current rate. According to the report, plug-in vehicles around the world are expected to consume 55.2 GW a year by 2024, up from the current 4.8 GW.
The report compiled by Navigant Research could be of great help to auto manufacturers, as well as government agencies and electricity distribution companies, as they try to accelerate the commercialization of VGI technologies and create a regulatory framework for managing the vehicle-grid integration industry in the future.