How parked cars could power the future

Imagine running a parking meter backwards and actually being paid to park your car. Along those lines, electric vehicles might one day make money for their owners by providing electrical storage for the nation’s power grid.

With this new idea, Vehicle to Grid (V2G), parked electric vehicles would feed electricity back into the grid on an as-needed basis. While this would require a smart grid as well as smart EVs, imagine the results on, say, a 110 degree day in Phoenix when the grid could pull power out of 150,000 parked electric vehicles rather than generating all of it. V2G also decreases the number of backup generators needed by the grid.

  • woody

    Yeah, because nobody every goes out to lunch, and would want their EV to have power when they go out to their car at the end of the work day. Really? Charing your EV at home at night makes sense, it’s off peek. Letting someone else drain it at work? Nobody’s going to go for that. Most people aren’t going for EVs because they “only” have a 60 to 80 mile range on a charge. You think they’re going to let you discharge even a part of that while they work?

    So peek hours are 9 to 5, with a surge at about 3 for hot weather based places. So 3 hits, the system pulls from car batteries, and then… You walk home because your car is too drained to make the trip back home? Or you wait till 6ish so you car can recharge, web surfing and extending the peek hours more because of it?

    Plus, the cost of a system that can do this… charge and discharge competing makes and models of EVs in a balanced way. I’m betting that costs more than just installing solar panels or wind turbines (or geo-therm for underground parking lots).

    Dumb idea. Who thinks of these things?

  • The plan is to only drain a small amount and I’m no doubt the car owner can override that if they want to, or program in how much it can take. That’s what a smart grid could do.

  • DJ

    “Most people aren’t going for EVs because they “only” have a 60 to 80 mile range on a charge.”

    Yep. Remember that 50% of the country occupies that big, red 80% of the landmass. A 60 mile range would barely get me to the grocery store and back– certainly not to the pharmacy, health food store, and produce stand as well.

    Oh, and we don’t have parking meters, not even in town. Parking, believe it or not, is FREE. Everywhere.

    Not to discount the use of such technology for the 50% of the country that lives in those small blue areas, but don’t forget that half of us don’t.

  • Our energy future won’t be one-size-fits-all. It’ll be geared for the area. V2G makes sense in major urban areas. And maybe one day you’ll power your EV tractor with your wind turbine. It could happen!

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