The energy storage capacity of electric vehicles (EVs) presents new opportunities and value propositions for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power system services. Potential benefits could include the alleviation of the need for generation and transmission investments and increases in network efficiency and energy security. These benefits arise as V2G technologies enable EVs to deliver electricity from their batteries back into the smart grid which can then be used to power homes and businesses.
Fleet vehicles account for 56% of new vehicle registrations and are quickly turned over into the private market. A better understanding of fleet operators' views and assessment of electric vehicles and different V2G technologies, products and services could create additional pathways for increasing the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV). Moreover, given the size and usage patterns of fleets, they could generate economies of scale that will help realise V2G opportunities and maximise their values.
V2GO (Vehicle-To-Grid Oxford) will develop, trial and evaluate potential business models for UK fleet operators' use of electric vehicles and their suitability for V2G charging. The project will involve three trial phases:
- Phase 1 Trial: Explores key issues that may inform fleet managers' decisions to move to EVs;
- Phase 2 Trial: Installation of GPS data loggers into existing fleet vehicles to assess their suitability for EV and V2G usage and future business models;
- Phase 3 Trial: Installing V2G infrastructure at sites/depots which will then be used by participating organisations fleet EVs.
The Transport Studies Unit has two main responsibilities in V2GO.
The first is to identify potential criteria for segmenting the UK fleet market and to provide an overview of operating strategies and ongoing and emerging issues in fleet management. This task will involve a desktop review of secondary data and resources and interviews with experts from and on the fleet industry and fleet managers. Secondly, the TSU will monitor and evaluate the Phase 3 Trial. A longitudinal and mixed method approach will be adopted, combining quantitative information on electric vehicle and V2G installation usage and qualitative interviews to monitor and evaluate technology and business model performance and changes to managers' and drivers' from different trial organisations views, operating strategies and routines.
The V2GO project has four main aims:
- Demonstrate the benefits of EV adoption and value of V2G and Smart Charging for fleet operators;
- Compare and assess the benefits of EV adoption and V2G against existing operating systems and practices;
- Understand how modifications to the fleet operation or charging patterns could help to optimise overall value;
- Provide real-world experience of V2G and the technology to trial participants and stakeholders.
An interim and a final report will be produced as part of the monitoring and evaluation of the Trial 3 Phase. These reports will be based on the quantitative information on EV and V2G usage and findings from interviews and surveys with managers and drivers of their organisation's fleet vehicles.
Alongside these reports, a number of peer-reviewed journal articles will also be produced.
For more information on this research project please contact Dr Toon Meelen.