Today’s plug-in electric vehicles represent a significant increase in electricity demand that, if unmanaged, could cause problems with distribution-level transformers and could drastically increase demand during peak hours when EV owners return from work and plug in their vehicles.
At the same time, plug-in electric vehicles also represent an increase in load that could be used to capture renewable electricity generation and help balance generation with demand, theoretically making electricity marginally cheaper and cleaner.
According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from VGI services is expected to grow from $335,000 annually in 2015 to $20.7 million by 2024.
“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 plug-in electric vehicles” says Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research. “With global sales of plug-in electric vehicles 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.”
The VGI market can be separated into two categories, according to the report: plug-in electric vehicles can provide services to the grid by changing the rate at which they consume power, which is known as vehicle-to-grid communications for charge management, or V1G. Or they can provide power back to the grid, a bidirectional system known as vehicle-to-grid power transfer, or V2G. While V2G pilots have taken center stage, to date, V1G pilots have fewer barriers in regards to automaker adoption and accessible markets.