EV Trends

7 Companies Driving Innovation with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G)

EVs don’t just consume fuel like combustion engine-powered cars. They can also feed power back into the electric grid through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.

That ability increases their benefit to both their owners and the communities they live in. Certainly, they save their owners on fuel costs – a full charge costs EV owners more than five times less than a gas-powered car, as Electrify News points out.

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But with V2G technology, EVs will also be able to earn their owners rebates or other financial incentives from their utilities when the V2G system becomes viable nationwide. Certainly, that would be a win-win scenario for all parties: the owners, the utilities, the community, and, of course, the innovative companies making it all possible. Here are some of the companies driving innovation with vehicle-to-grid technology:

1. GM Energy

Known for its classic American cars, GM has established a V2G pilot program to interface its electric vehicles’ systems with local utilities under the banner of its new division, GM Energy. However, it’s an uphill battle, as GM Energy’s head of V2X and battery solutions, Mark Bole, advises in a MotorTrend piece.

With over 1,500 different utilities across the US, all with diverse systems and protocols, Bole said, it will take time to find a system that will both enable bidirectional charging (funneling energy from the utility to a vehicle and sending some of that energy back to the grid or a home’s electrical system) and work with each utility. Bole estimates that a working system could be up and running by 2025.

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Other companies driving innovation with V2G technology include Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen, all of which are running V2G pilot programs with utility providers. Additionally, several EVs have already enabled bidirectional charging, the first step toward a large-scale V2G system. These cars include GM’s GMC Hummer, Nissan’s Leaf, Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV, and Volvo’s EX90.

2. IoTecha

US startup company IoTecha has developed an Internet of Things (IoT) cloud-based platform that enables V2G integration through its smart charging software, as a StartUs Insights article reveals. The platform analyzes the charging system’s data to provide load sharing and optimization, allowing EV owners to take advantage of price fluctuations. Owners can charge their cars when demand is low for a lower price. Then, when demand and prices rise, they can use their cars’ batteries to feed energy back into the grid for rebates, discounts, or whatever financial incentives the owners’ utility companies offer.

3. Green Energy Wallet

Another US startup, Green Energy Wallet, has developed a blockchain-based mobile app that records V2G transactions in an “immutable digital ledger,” as the StartUs Insights article puts it. Since every transaction is timestamped and unchangeable, this app makes both billing for charging services and financial incentives for providing energy to the grid more transparent than ever before. Even more importantly, blockchain technology eliminates the need for a mediator, which helps to reduce operational costs.

4. Duke Energy

In 2022, Duke Energy began a partnership with Ford to create a pilot program with North Carolina’s utility commission. Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck owners can participate in the program in exchange for lower lease payments, provided they agree to funnel energy from their EVs back into the grid.

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The company singled out the Ford F-150 Lightning for the program due to its battery’s huge storage capacity. If the program is a success, Duke Energy plans to expand it to other EVs as well, providing its service area with enough energy to overcome the strain on the grid during peak usage times.

5. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

West Coast-based PG&E launched three new pilot programs to discover the best way to “maximize bidirectional EV charging benefits for consumers and the grid,” as Electrek’s Peter Johnson put it. The program, which explores the range of possibilities vehicle-to-everything (V2X) energy exchanges offer, enables EV owners to use their vehicles’ batteries to earn money by providing energy for the grid during high-demand times.

That’s not all the benefits participants can gain. Not only can they help power the grid during peak hours, but they can also power their own homes or businesses temporarily during outages and gain access to lower prices by charging their EVs during low-demand hours. In addition, enrollees can also receive funds to offset the cost of purchasing and installing the bidirectional EV charger they’ll need to participate.

6. Synop

Another US startup in the V2G space, Synop, has developed an AI-based orchestration solution designed for utility companies and commercial fleets, as a StartUs Insights article reports. The software optimizes EV charging and discharging on a bidirectional basis, allowing fleet drivers to schedule V2G usage quickly and set power levels and timers for both single and multiple chargers. And, most importantly, it allows EV fleet owners to earn multiple streams of revenue by funneling power back to the grid.

7. Gismo Power

Convenience and mobility mark the latest entry into the V2G space by Gismo Power. This US startup company developed mobile solar carports that generate electricity and feed it into EVs parked underneath them as well as nearby buildings and grids. And, thanks to their bidirectional EV chargers, they can also pull energy from both EVs and the carports’ photovoltaic systems.

Image via Freepik

These solar carports feature mobile electricity-generating appliance (MEGA) technology, which integrates their Level 2 EV chargers with their photovoltaic systems. People who install these carports on their commercial and residential properties and parking lots stabilize their local grid while saving on energy costs and reducing their dependence on their utility company.

Want to Learn More About Companies Driving EV Charging Innovation?

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