Electric vehicles (EV) are being touted as the messiah to save America’s power grid after California passed a law banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles from 2035, allowing home lights to run on an electric vehicle’s fully charged battery.
According to Clifford Rechtschaffen, commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission, bi-directional or vehicle-to-grid charging, also known as V2G, offered by car and charger manufacturers is a legitimate game changer. When all California electric vehicles are connected at peak load and feed electricity into the grid, they act like giant batteries that could relieve grid stress in times of the greatest need.
When a car is charged, alternating current is converted into direct current stored in the battery. If the owner has a bi-directional charger, direct current can be converted back into alternating current and fed into the grid, and utilities will use the batteries to power every home in the state for three days.
Bi-directional chargers are also being used to help electric vehicle owners contribute to the grid or store and convert electricity for their own use. Ford’s new electric F-150, for example, can power a home for up to three days.
Another way to encourage electric vehicle drivers to help the grid is to offer usage-time terms that make it cheaper for owners to charge when the grid is taxed less, reducing costs for grid users by allowing utilities to use infrastructure they have already paid for.
If V2G were deployed across California, the grid would become more flexible.
The sources for this piece include an article in ArsTechnica.