Vehicle-to-grid study suggests £400 annual revenue per electric vehicle


A UK study into the income potential of using electric vehicles to balance the grid suggests around £400 per annum may be the upper limit for cars plugged in 75 per cent of the time.

The findings contrast with headline figures touted by vehicle-to-grid (V2G) proponents such as Nissan and Nuvve, which have suggested earnings of €1,300-€1,800 have been achieved, albeit in an application-specific trial in Denmark.

The report by Cenex took data from three electric vehicle trials and demonstrators and overlaid it with simulated new data to determine a mean plug-in rate. That data suggested a 28 per cent mean plug-in rate across the sample over a year. The lowest rate was 6 per cent, the highest plug-in rate was 80 per cent.

Researchers then created use cases and modelled different types of charging approaches – from dumb, to unidirectional controlled or ‘smart’ charging, to bi-directional vehicle-to-grid charging – all using a 7kW charger.

The study assessed all potentially available revenue streams for both smart and V2G services, ran the numbers and come up with some figures based on currently available tariffs, grid services and prices.

For V2G, it found the most suitable revenue streams over the next five years include National Grid ESO balancing services FFR, Stor and Demand Turn Up, plus imbalance management, arbitrage and local grid peak tariff avoidance (see table).

Source: Cenex

However, the most important component of that stack is FFR, where prices are declining due to an influx of batteries. Adding electric vehicles to that pool would exacerbate price cannibalisation.

Of a total of £414 annual revenue for grid services available to vehicles plugged in for 75 per cent of the time, the study found FFR would deliver £358, or 86 per cent.

The study acknowledged that its figures do not take into account any costs associated with battery degradation as a result of increased cycling.

See the report here.

Related stories:

Free report: EVs, smart charging and vehicle-to-grid

Free EV chargers: Businesses sought for vehicle-to-grid trial

Nissan: 2019 a “breakthrough year” for vehicle-to-grid

Electric vehicles: Define smart charging, urge DNOs

Vehicle-to-grid: Are we nearly there yet?

EVs: Car parks sought for V2G trials

National Grid predicts huge solar growth, while EVs create huge storage capacity

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  1. I am not surprised. Most studies are not for the UK market nor set in a future with millions of EVs in play.

    I have been studying this area for 6 years now and have yet to find a way for mass EVs to make a profit. Yes, in some markets 1 EV can, but in our market with mass volumes there is very likely a negative ROI.

    And don’t forget, DR can do most that V2G can – and not incur battery damage costs.

    See also NGET & Ricardo’s “Bucks for Balancing”, 2011, which essentially came to the same conclusion:

    V2G? It’s impressive what hype can do!


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