UK government invests £30m in electric vehicle-to-grid tech research

by BPVA on 14 February 2018

UK government invests £30m in electric vehicle-to-grid tech research

The UK government is investing £30 million into a new technology touted to "unlock the potential for electric vehicles" and help power people's homes.

Through the Industrial Strategy, the government's fresh batch of investment looks to help the UK "become a world leader in shaping the future of mobility and in the design and development of the clean technologies of the future".

This will come in the form of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies, the UK gov said, which could enable electric cars and other vehicles to deliver "electricity back to the smart grid, to light homes and power businesses".

The funding was awarded to 21 V2G projects to fund their research, design and development with the aim of exploring and trialling both the technology itself and commercial opportunities.

"These schemes, including EDF Energy's V2GO scheme, will demonstrate how energy stored in electric vehicle batteries could be borrowed by the electricity system during peak hours, before being recharged during the off-peak in time for their drivers to set off on their next journey," the government claimed in an announcement.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said that as the number of electric vehicles grows and their battery capabilities increase, there is "a huge opportunity" for them to make a significant contribution to a smart grid.

"These projects are at the cutting edge of their field. Just like the visionary designs of Brunel and Stephenson in transport, they could revolutionise the ways in which we store and manage electricity, both now and in the future," Norman said.

The £30 million was awarded in the form of a competition, run by Innovate UK, and saw a host of winners including SSE Services, Nissan, OVO Energy, Octopus Energy, Cisco, Flexisolar and AT Kearney.

Innovate UK recently concluded the assessment process, with OLEV and BEIS providing the money to fund industry led collaborative R&D in electric ‘vehicle to grid' technology for up to 70 per cent of project costs, said the government.