V2G at Everything Electric NORTH 2024

I was fortunate enough to find myself on stage for two different panel sessions at the Everything Electric NORTH show in Harrogate last weekend. We recorded those two sessions in full for posterity, but there were plenty of other interesting topics apart from V2x. Some extracts from those can also be found below.

My first panel on Saturday was on the topic of “Vehicle to Everything? What’s the true potential?”, held in the EEN “Giga Theatre”. The tagline for the session was “We believe that V2X could be the biggest benefit of all in a world with battery electric vehicles, but how do we go ‘bidirectional’?”:

As you can see from the video below, I found myself sat next to Robert Llewellyn of Fully Charged fame as a last minute replacement for host Dan Caesar:

Mark Potter from 3ti explained the full suite of V2x three letter acronyms (TLAs for short).

  • V2L = vehicle-to-load
  • V2H = vehicle-to-home
  • V2B = vehicle-to-building
  • V2G = vehicle-to-grid
  • V2I = vehicle-to-infrastructure
  • V2V = vehicle-to-vehicle

I added a couple of less familiar four letter acronyms (FLAs for short) to Mark’s list:

  • V2µG = vehicle-to-micro-grid
  • V2nG = vehicle-to-nano-grid (AKA V2H)

Robert helpfully provided an explanation of “V2µG”:

Vehicle to a “local area grid”, like a few houses or a few buildings or a few offices.

Sunday’s panel was also in the Giga Theatre, this time on the related topic of “How can Grid x Home x Car come together for 2035?”, with the tagline “If there is to be a silver bullet in energy and transport it will be the bringing together of grid, home and car – when and how will they intersect? “.

Robert asked me “Can you do, for me, the very basic differentiation between the two commonly used ways of getting electricity out of cars, AC and DC?

I replied “I can try!“. Skip to 5:30 in the video below to see for yourself whether I succeeded or not.

At ~ 27:30 in the video above, in response to a pertinent question from the audience, I uttered a carefully calibrated four letter word when attempting to get my message across to the assembled throng. Followed by:

The grid, it’s still too much ‘top down’, and it needs to be more ‘bottom up’!

Robert clarified my remark by adding that:

One would hope it will be a blend of the two. That consumers are buying the cars and going ‘hang on a minute, I’ve got a massive battery sat outside my house and I can’t use it to run my cooker’. And from the top down you can see the obvious benefits of having a million electric vehicles on the road. Even that is a million kilowatt-hours, if you take one from each.

To be continued…

UK Government Announces £185 Million EV Charging Funding

In a press release this morning the United Kingdom Government’s Department for Transport announced that:

Charging electric vehicles is set to get even easier thanks to hundreds of millions of funding made available for local authorities, homeowners and renters today.

The government continues to deliver its £381 million Local Electric Vehicle (LEVI) fund to councils, which can choose where is best to install chargepoints in their local area. Following the approval of the first five local authority applications in February, payments to 44 additional councils from Torbay to Tees Valley, worth over £185 million, have now been approved to help residents charge their vehicles.

The funding will support the delivery of thousands of chargepoints across England, helping more drivers get from A to B easily and supporting families in making the switch. Additionally, the local authorities that have already been allocated to the second round of LEVI funding will be able to apply to the fund from 2 April 2024, following those who have received funding in the first round and in a further boost to the chargepoint rollout.

In Devon and Cornwall the funding allocation is:

Cornwall & Scilly £5,509,000

In a press release of their own today, Devon County Council add further details:

The announcement follows our adoption of the Devon Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy last year.

In the Strategy, we highlight that a key barrier to the uptake of EVs in Devon is the availability of suitable charging infrastructure, particularly in remote and rural areas.

To address this, the our Strategy recommends that we support the delivery of 2,000 more charging points by 2030.

It adds that there should be a particular focus on charging points on residential streets in rural and remote areas with electric grid constraints, where higher uptakes of EVs are forecast and communities without or with limited access to off-street parking.

The delivery of Devon’s LEVI scheme is set to begin in 2025 and will significantly expand on an already growing network of on and off-street EV charging points.

The DfT press release also announced additional financial support for EV owners who cannot charge their car in their own garage on on their driveway:

To further support electric vehicle (EV) drivers and families looking to switch to electric, the government is ensuring households without driveways or dedicated parking spaces can access the electric vehicle chargepoint grant. Delivering on our Plan for Drivers commitment to make EVs a more practical option, the £350 grant will be widened to those who own or rent and have access to adequate street parking.

The funding will drive down the cost of EV ownership by providing up to 75% off the cost of purchasing and installing a chargepoint, and applicants must also have permission from their council to install a cross-pavement charging solution. Applications can be made online.

Renault Reveal V2x Enabled R5 at Geneva Motor Show

We have been following the progress of the new Renault 5 for quite some time, and the long awaited reveal of the R5 will be live streamed tomorrow from the 2024 Geneva International Motor Show.

Some pictures of a bright yellow version of the “production” Renault 5 have been “leaked” to the press. Here is a sneak preview:

And from the reverse angle:

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Octopus Energy introduce “The UK’s first Vehicle-to-Grid tariff”

This morning a new section was visible on the “Smart Tariffs” section of Octopus Energy’s web site. The new tariff is introduced by Constantine the friendly octopus as follows:

Octopus Power Pack: the UK’s first Vehicle-to-Grid tariff

Get free EV charging with our groundbreaking vehicle-to-grid (V2G) tariff

Add Octopus Power Pack to your regular tariff. We’ll set up your V2G charger to automatically manage your charging and discharging in the greenest way possible, so you can fill up for free.

A typical V2G driver could save £880 per year compared to Flexible Octopus, and £180 compared to Intelligent Octopus Go.

Power Pack represents the latest stage in our V2G rollout, following our wildly successful Powerloop V2G trial. It’s currently a beta tariff.

I cannot help but wonder if Constantine the intelligent octopus has been peeking at our decade old “artistic impression” of V2G technology in the domestic environment? See the banner above.

Constantine continues:

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Arrival’s UK Subsidiaries Enter Administration

In a press release earlier today Arrival announced that:

Arrival today announced that Simon Edel, Alan Hudson and Sam Woodward of EY-Parthenon’s Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy team were appointed as joint administrators (the “Administrators”) of Arrival UK Ltd and Arrival Automotive UK Limited (the “Companies”), both subsidiaries of Arrival. All of Arrival’s other subsidiaries will continue their activities as usual outside of the administration process. The Administrators are now exploring options for the sale of the business and assets of the Companies, including the electric vehicle platform, software, intellectual property and R&D assets, for the benefit of creditors.

Arrival’s mission is to master a radically more efficient New Method to design, produce, sell and service purpose-built electric vehicles, to support a world where cities are free from fossil fuel vehicles. Arrival’s in-house technologies enable a unique approach to producing vehicles using rapidly-scalable, local Microfactories. Arrival is a joint stock company governed by Luxembourg law.

So much for the long promised, allegedly revolutionary, vehicle-to-grid capable Arrival electric van:

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V2S Suddenly Makes Educational and Financial Sense?

In a press release this morning the Department for Transport of His Majesty’s Government announced that:

New measures to support electric vehicle drivers from the government’s Plan for Drivers have launched today, including grants for schools, cash for councils and new proposals to boost chargepoint numbers.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, will launch support for greener schools in Nottinghamshire today, with a new grant providing up to 75% of the cost to buy and install chargepoints, up to £2,500 per socket, up from the previous £350. 

Paid for by the Department for Transport, the grant forms part of the Workplace Charging Scheme and is available for state-funded schools, colleges, nurseries and academies to boost the chargepoint facilities for staff and visitors. This could also help schools to generate revenue by making their chargepoints available to the public.

The school’s grant is for state-funded schools and education institutions, which must have dedicated off-street parking facilities – applications can be made online.

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Sainsbury’s Launches Smart Charge

In a press release today Sainsbury’s announced that:

Sainsbury’s has today launched Smart Charge, a brand-new, dedicated EV charging business that will give drivers access to ultra-rapid EV charging points across its stores. This bold move illustrates the retailer’s commitment to the EV industry while providing an exciting new service for drivers.

In new research commissioned by Sainsbury’s, 80% of EV users admitted to avoiding long journeys because of not wanting to charge at public EV charging stations, describing the main frustrations as chargers being broken (40%), not enough charging bays (36%) and speed of service (33%). Designed to mitigate these frustrations, Smart Charge will initially feature over 750 cutting-edge ultra-rapid charging bays rolled out across more than 100 stores by the end of 2024, putting Sainsbury’s in the top five providers of ultra-rapid charging in the UK.

It seems as though Sainsbury’s have been doing a lot of market research. The release continues:

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Tesla Reveal Powershare V2H on Cybertruck

After maintaining an anti V2x stance for many years Tesla have finally accepted the inevitable! On the new Powershare page on the Tesla web site they say that:

Tesla vehicles* equipped with Powershare technology have onboard electronics that unlock your battery’s ability to provide power whenever you need it, wherever you are. Whether you need to power a construction site, pre-game tailgate, another electric vehicle or even your home during an outage, your Tesla vehicle with Powershare has you covered.

That sounds awfully exciting, but following the asterisk to the small print at the bottom of the page reveals that:

Tesla Powershare is currently available for Cybertruck only.

Without actually mentioning vehicle-to-load or vehicle-to-home Tesla suggest some use cases for the newly unlocked power:

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GM to make V2H technology available across Ultium-based EVs by model year 2026

According to a General Motors press release earlier this week:

GM will expand vehicle-to-home (V2H) bidirectional charging technology across its retail portfolio of Ultium-based electric vehicles by model year 2026. The first vehicles to receive the technology include the previously announced 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST, followed by the 2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, 2024 Cadillac LYRIQ and the upcoming Cadillac ESCALADE IQ, which will be revealed on Aug. 9.

Building on the company’s plan to deliver a growing suite of energy management products and services through GM Energy, V2H unlocks additional value for EV drivers, who will be able to transfer energy from their vehicles to a properly equipped home when desired. The technology allows consumers to store and transfer energy to help offset electricity needs during peak demand days and mitigate the impact of power outages, making the transition to an all-electric future even more compelling.

According to the subsequent ESCALADE IQ press release:

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Summer EV Charging Hell in SW England

Lisa, our ageing experimental Nissan LEAF, was conveying us towards a visit to the seaside in Exmouth when she popped into Exeter Services for a quick “splash and dash” charging session. Sadly it was not to be:

There’s nothing quick or dashing about waiting in the queue for a vacant Gridserve CHAdeMO charging connector. Especially when there’s a Tesla at the head of that queue, and there seems to be a vacancy in the adjacent serried ranks of Tesla superchargers:

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