V2G benefits ‘much bigger than FFR and arbitrage’


Non-cash benefits from vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology look set to exceed revenues based solely on power aggregation and trading, automotive energy researchers Cenex believe.

It claims its report ‘A Fresh Look at V2G Value Propositions’, is the biggest survey yet of V2G experience and ambitions across Europe. It examines eight V2G trials completed or under way in the UK and four other countries, conducted by the likes of Nissan GB, Ovo Energy, Octopus and Eon.

Beyond aggregation and trading, analysts identify four areas of wider V2G benefit:

  • Extended battery management – lowering the lifetime cost of home and EV power equipment, through added intelligence and control
  • Adding network resilience, as a back-up power source and a shield against brown-outs. A major V2G motivator in Japan, the study finds
  • Personal Net Zero – linking with clean generation at home, boosting self-consumption among micro-generators
  • Green engagement – V2G as a motivational step for drivers, promoting deeper response environmental

The Cenex study is funded under a £30 million grant programme run by Innovate UK.

Cenex has previously undertaken work in a bid to quantify the potential monetary value of V2G. It found that the upper limit for cars plugged in 75 per cent of the time might be around £400 per annum, with firm frequency response (FFR) making up the single biggest chunk of value.

Chris Cox, Cenex’s head of energy infrastructure, said the report should make suppliers of home energy and smart systems reconsider the technology and examine a broader business case.

“V2G shows huge promise, but recently has been reduced to a tool for making money from trading. This study does a great job of re-considering its true potential”

Carmakers appear to recognise that potential. Tesla is creating a virtual power plant. Volkswagen hopes to amass a terawatt hour of storage from its vehicles within the next ten years. Honda is pushing in that direction, with BMW also trialling V2G. Nissan says its V2G-enabled vehicles already represent several gigawatts of storage.

Download the Cenex report here.

Related stories:

V2G study suggests £400/year per EV


  1. I have professional interest in V2G, which I model at large scale i.e. in 2040 and on.

    This paper cites Uddin’s 2016 paper ” On the possibility of extending the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries through optimal V2G facilitated by an integrated vehicle and smart-grid system”, which proposes to extend battery life via V2G removing battery charge between 80% and 100% SOC, if it was not needed, which helps as high SOC reduce battery life.

    One might think – if this was not needed, and having a battery charged so high shortens battery life – why charge over 80% in the first place?

    Simple techniques such as managed charging offer 10:1 benefit over V2G yet are hardly mentioned (data from my doctoral work which I am presently summarising in an Open Access paper).

    Given V2G has round-trip losses of c. 50-60% (see “Measurement of power loss during electric vehicle charging and discharging” by Elpiniki Apostolaki-Iosifidou), so every 1 kWh exported needs up to 2 kWh imported, why is it being pushed so hard?

    …and, why is the clear need to spend £billions on residential 230V systems being ignored?

    Oh, of course. One (V2G, less efficient) has prospects for profit, the other issues (managed charging, network reinforcement) have prospects for costs. So no-one wants to discuss the latter.



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