Trends in the electric vehicle market have been changing rapidly. New technology that will soon be introduced to help with these changes includes bidirectional charging and V2G, which could potentially reduce some of this burden on power grids during peak hours when demand exceeds supply most quickly.
The sudden burst of attention that electric cars have received this year is the result of higher gasoline prices, a trend which could continue with further inflation reduction Act incentives. This article will explore how EVs are able to fill some gaps left behind by traditional auto manufacturers while also exploring their impact on power grids across different states including California and Texas.
Buildings use the majority of our electricity and must stay on to keep business production, medical facilities, and manufacturing in full swing. With enough Vehicle to Grid (V2G), Vehicle to Home (V2H) and Vehicle to Building (V2B) you can reduce peak demand and the Texas El.
In 2022 when gas cost skyrocketed many people looked at what they could do about it; one solution seemed very logical – buy an Electric Vehicle (EV). With millions already sold worldwide there’s no doubt you’ve heard all sorts of pros and cons.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is a hot pickup truck that has been making waves in the automotive world. It was introduced at this year’s New York Auto show and was announced with plans to produce 40k annually, but after just one month they boosted it up by 150%. With so many reservations coming from the electric vehicle buzz it’s no wonder they now have 200 thousand vehicles on back order.
The Lightning’s powertrain is more than capable of getting you where your going. It has a reported range exceeding 320 miles, which means that if need be it can drive from Dallas to Houston on one tank! And in situations where backup generator systems are highly sought after due to natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes; this bidirectional capability could very well save lives when things happen unexpectedly.
The base model’s 426 horsepower output makes him an intimidating top-of-the line truck to compare against the 3500 Ram , Silverado or F 350. With such fantastic headline numbers at hand I was surprised by just how much muscle mass goes into producing them!
The wait times for the new Ford F-150 are long, but those patient enough can get their hands on an electric version of this iconic truck. With 726,000 units of the gas and diesel versions sold last year and at number one in all U.S vehicle sales as well; it’s no wonder everyone wants one!
Ford is working with Duke Energy on a demand-response pilot program expected to launch in 2023 for customers of the Carolinas’ service area. Participants will see their EVs discounted at lease payments but also have them able to contribute energy back into balancing the electric service system during peak times, helping keep power supply balanced while reducing reliance upon fossil fuel sources like coal or gas plants during closures. Speaking of natural gas power plant closures, the Texas Uri winter storm of 2021 is a perfect example where electric cars feeding power back into the electric grid during a peak demand period could have alleviated the Texas power grid failure.
In addition to General Motors’ recent study on V2G capabilities in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Nissan has approved a bidirectional charging system for its Leaf model year 2013 or newer through their partnership with Fermata Energy. Volkswagen is exploring the technology and how it might benefit drivers as well as our electricity grid; they’re not alone either!
With V2G, cars can be more than just an efficient means of transportation; they are also a power source for our homes and businesses. Instead of only charging during the day when you’re running low on gas (or waiting your turn at plug-in), these bidirectional chargers will give off energy stored in their batteries while plugged into wall outlets like we do with kettles or cell phones! The next time someone asks why electric vehicles aren’t substituting fossil fuels yet—point them towards this new technology instead: Vehicle To Grid Integration (V2G).
Electric cars are everywhere, and we’re just starting to see the impacts of their one-way charging system. With bidirectional battery technology like this in place, an electric vehicle can act as both mobile power source for homes or businesses nearby while also helping keep those buildings stay lit up at night! It makes sense to use your car battery as a way to enhance the electric grid and be compensated for doing so (demand response programs). If we ever get to the point that our vehicles provided our state with the needed electricity demand response during hot summer days our vehicles could contribute to lower electric rates for everyone. A more efficient electric grid lowers the electric service costs for everyone connected to that power grid.
There are a variety of different types and styles that need to work in order for this system to function properly, including how they operate. The most important thing is making sure all charging stations can handle bidirectional communication so the process doesn’t get confused or stuck at any one point during the process of feeding energy to places such as your home or business.
The most common way to power our devices is with DC. The batteries that go into smartphones and laptops use an AC adapter, but for those who charge their device on the regular old wall outlet—whether it’s at home or work-they rely heavily upon DC too! As you can see from this example of how everything has some kind of reliance on both sides in order to function properly (even EVs need AC!), we’re going to explore just what happens when one side stops flowing.
The three types of EV charging stations in use today are Level 1, which is widely available as it charges using a standard 120-volt household outlet; this type typically provides about 5 miles per hour. The most common method for getting electricity for these vehicles? You guessed it! A level 2 charger will get your car 20 – 60 miles worth of juice and can work with all models that have been built since 2009 when Tesla introduced their first model equipped to take advantage of electric drivetrains such as the Model S or X . The Level 3 charger is a device that can charge your vehicle in about 20 minutes with a range of 60 – 105 miles. It works by providing DC power without having to convert it from standard AC current which makes this faster than other chargers on the market because there’s no need for conversion. The Ford Lightning and Tesla’s are equipped to use Level 3 chargers.
How Does Bidirectional Charging Work?
The exciting aspect to electric cars is definitely bidirectional charging, as it can dramatically change the power grid for the better. Standard EV chargers are simple compared to bidirectional chargers that convert AC to DC during charging. The reverse happens when discharging which is a complex process of engineering to make this work right. Bidirectional charging can only happen with EV’s capable of plugging into this newer technology. Your EV will need to be designed to use bidirectional charging or it is simply not an option even though you bought an electric vehicle. Bidirectional chargers are much more expensive than typical EV charging stations because there is quite a bit more advanced technology involved in managing the power flow to and from the vehicle.
What Are The Biggest Benefits of a Bidirectional Charging Electric Vehicle?
Bidirectional charging is complicated and from that complexity it means it is expensive too. The question arises what could be the benefit if the price overshadows the potential for helping the power grid? The popularity and utility of using your electric vehicle for both a mobile battery source as well as demand response at home and the potential for incentives offered (by the state and electric utilities) when helping the wider power market might make a bidirectional charging vehicle worth it.
A bidirectional electric vehicle can provide backup power to individual buildings through V2H and V2B charging, or it could help the entire grid by providing demand-response capabilities with its ability of being able to offload a home or business from the grid and allow those facilities to be powered from the vehicle during peak demand times. CEO’s executives, wealthy people could be first adopters but it will be some time before everyone is using a bi-directional vehicle to help the power grid stay affordable and consistently stable with power.
Instead of having a single stationary storage unit that must remain at one location, bidirectional electric vehicles can be used to supplement local generation or serve as an emergency reserve. Imagine, a phone application notifying you to drive your bidirectional vehicle to a designated spot to provide backup power. You would be compensated for providing that power during peak demand times. During peak demand periods the compensation from places like the Electric Reliability Council of Texas can be well worth the investment.
The world of electric vehicles is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming clearer by the day that this new technology will have a huge impact on how we power our homes and businesses. A typical electric vehicle battery offers a 15-100 kilowatt hour battery that could provide emergency lighting for an individual building or even just handle all your household needs when you’re out at work – depending upon what kind of energy consumption patterns show up in your states season!
Considerations if Bidirectional Electric Vehicles are Right for You
The cost of an electric vehicle is still quite high, and many people don’t see value in paying more for something that doesn’t produce any pollution when in fact it still does. EVs also have higher costs when you need to charge them at home or work since the vehicle itself costs more, you have to buy a charging station, and they often can’t go as far. The problems facing bidirectional vehicles are largely similar as those seen with straight-electric cars—the main difference being how much it will actually save you money.
The F-150 Lightning’s Charge Station Pro is a $1,310 additional cost and that’s just getting started. You will need to install a dedicate 100-amp electrical circuit, a second electric utility meter, and consultation with an electrician to make sure it’s all going to work right. This construction project is just for the charger, there’s more. To use the truck’s bidirectional power you need Ford’s Home Integration System or you will just be driving around a green energy status symbol. You will need to contact Ford’s partner Sunrun and purchase the home integration system for $3,895, plus installation costs. How much are the installation costs? Probably a few thousand dollars as well.
The Ford trucks are now able to provide full-home power for up three days with the help of their new home system! The Charge Station Pro can store 9.6 kw, enough energy needed when offloading through V2G capabilities; this means you won’t have any worries about running low on electricity during an outage like before because your truck will always have whatever is necessary at its disposal. You could spend about the same for a home generator rather than outfit your home with a EV charging station but you can’t drive it around. The commonalities between those with home generators and people buying electric vehicles, they both have massive wealth. These EV’s are not for the typical home owner, that’s for sure.
Plug and Play Bidirectional Charging Requires Your Work
The infrastructure for demand response backup power is not there as a plug and play setup anywhere you go. You need to own your home with a garage that you can build out a charging station in. The power grid or building needs to have the appropriate technology to receive the power as well as distribute it back to your vehicle. An entire power grid such as the Texas electric grid still has a lot of costly steps that have to take place before every building and home is equipped to offer distributed energy generation and demand response solutions. Electric vehicles is definitely a closer step to this practical solution to our electric grid issues but we are still far off from the immediate plug and play everywhere dream.
I can imagine a wealthy executive who owns large buildings and mansion residence building in the plug and play options into his facilities and buying a fleet of these vehicles and using them for demand response. A network of wealthy business owners could definitely get the ball rolling and even work with each other in a network that spans across states. The appeal of the immediate horse power an electric vehicle offers could be the man-toy incentive to see enough business owners build out these bidirectional charging stations.
EVs and V2G technology may be the answer to America’s power crisis as distributed generation and demand response initiatives are very impactful to the reliability of the electric grid. Not only do these vehicles allow utilities in places like California more opportunities for efficiency, but they can also help with load management by flattening out daily demand curves. The state of California is studying the possibilities and cost effectiveness of bidirectional electric vehicle charging and how it could help in electric demand response to flatten daily demand curves. Texas and other states are watching to see what they find out and will take appropriate responses based on their findings.
Texas Electric Grid, Ford Lightning Demand Curtailment Hack
You could potentially make $6,500 a year by plugging your Ford Lightning into your Texas business and using the Texas demand curtailment program to pay you.
The average Texas business makes $40,000 – $65,000 per year by curtailing their electricity demand by 1 MW.
As a business you have to opt in to this program and setup your electrical system to automate the process of switching off the Texas electric grid and on to your backup generators.
If you own a Ford lightning you could let that be your backup generator for your business. You would hook your Ford lightning into your businesses electrical system each day.
When the Texas demand response system asks for your business to curtail your electricity demand you would switch over to your truck and run your business off your truck. The curtailment is usually just for a few minutes a day.
Your Ford Lightning only has an energy capacity of 130 kWh so it could sustain the electric grid at a full 130 KW for one hour. This is about a tenth of the 1 MW average. So a conservative guestimate on what you could make with your truck at your business is about $6,500 a year.
Donny has been writing about the deregulated energy markets since early 2007. His knowledge has helped consumers lower their electricity cost.