UK government ploughs £20m into V2G pilots

The UK government is backing a vehicle to grid competition in a bid to develop the smart grid of tomorrow.

The competition reflects the government’s support of the development of bi-directional electric vehicle charging technology.

It also supports the government’s Industrial Strategy which aims to develop a smarter energy system, with EVs featuring strongly.   

UK’s commitment to innovation

The new funding from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) also underlines the Government’s commitment to innovative technologies.

The funding will be awarded to feasibility studies investigating the ways V2G technology can be used in the future, industrial research or experimental development, for example, to develop vehicle-to-grid charging equipment,  and demonstrator trials in the real-world environment, such as projects that trial vehicle to grid technology in different locations across the country.

Financial support for energy innovation will double by 2021 and more than £600m is already being invested to boost the move to ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “Electric vehicles are already helping thousands of motorists cut their fuel costs, and now there is an extra financial incentive for motorists to go green.

“The number of ultra-low emission vehicles on our roads is at record levels, with the latest figures showing that there are over 100,000 plug-in cars and vans registered.

“The government’s ambition is that nearly all cars and vans on our roads are zero emission by 2050.”

The competition process will start in the next few weeks with the aim of winners being notified in December and projects starting in early 2018.

Simon Edmonds, manufacturing and materials director at Innovate UK, said: “These competitions present ground-breaking opportunities for UK businesses to develop the next stage of vehicle to grid products and services. The potential of these technologies is  huge, both for businesses and consumers.”

V2G creating economic benefits

The UK is already home to 100,000 EVs and 11,000 charge points, thanks to strong government support which recognises that EVs will become a major resource for the smart electricity grid of tomorrow. As EV numbers grow, a more flexible and efficient energy system will be created as a result.

Climate change and industry minister Claire Perry said in a statement: “The government is a world leader in tackling climate change and we are committed to investing in clean energy innovation to support the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

“Vehicle to grid technology provides another opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world our leading expertise in research and development which is at the heart of our ambitious Industrial Strategy. This competition could unlock significant economic benefits for the UK - helping to create jobs in this burgeoning sector while helping to reduce our emissions.”

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