The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trial, which is aiming to demonstrate how V2G technology can provide a solution to potential electricity grid capacity issues as the numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) increase, has announced that it will partner with Wallbox, a leading energy management company that manufactures smart EV charging solutions.
The trial introduces Wallbox’s latest innovation, Quasar, which is the smallest and lightest bidirectional charger for home use. By using Quasar, EVs can put energy back into the grid at peak times, supporting national energy demand. This technology reduces the need for extra electricity generation or network reinforcement.
Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid – a project of Western Power Distribution (WPD), in partnership with CrowdCharge – is recruiting 100 Nissan EV owners in the WPD licence areas of the Midlands, South West and South Wales to take part in the trial of Vehicle to Grid smart charging technology. Currently, only Nissan EVs can be used for V2G charging due to their CHAdeMO technology.
The V2G trial follows the first Electric Nation project from 2018/19 which at the time was the world’s largest EV smart charging trial. The trial captured data from more than two million hours of car charging, providing real life insight into people’s habits when charging their vehicles.
The Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial is offering free installation of the V2G smart chargers worth £5,500 to Nissan EV drivers who live in the three WPD regions. CrowdCharge is recruiting 100 people for the trial to help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and others to understand how V2G charging could work with their electricity networks.
The Quasar is the smallest and lightest bidirectional charger commercially available for residential use globally and will debut in the UK. The Wallbox Quasar V2G charger has also been approved by Nissan for use with the LEAF and the e-NV200 electric vehicles.
In addition to providing charging capabilities for EVs, Quasar allows owners to pull energy from their car’s battery and transfer it into the grid – a capability referred to as Vehicle to Grid or V2G – empowering users to generate extra income by selling energy back to the grid.
The Quasar also has the ability to allow users to power their own homes, known as Vehicle to Home or V2H, effectively converting their EVs into a powerful energy storage unit that can replace or add capacity to a battery wall, or turn their EV into an emergency power source, enabling EV owners to become energy self-sufficient.
“We are very excited to be part of the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid trial so we can demonstrate how electric vehicles can play an important role in our electricity system. Quasar can help the electricity grid and can also generate income for EV drivers. Although this trial is all about simulating the future, the V2G charging technology exists today” said Eduard Castañeda, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Wallbox.
Wallbox creates smart charging systems that combine state-of-the-art technology with exceptional design, creating an intelligent ecosystem between car, charger and home. With Quasar, Wallbox is bringing the grid into this ecosystem, giving consumers the ability to have more control over how and when they use their energy.
Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid is different to other V2G projects because it is using up to five different energy suppliers instead of just one. This means that the trial is a more realistic simulation of a future world in which many streets will have a number of EVs using V2G chargers operated by different energy suppliers.
During the one-year trial each supplier will use their chargers to test their various energy services utilising CrowdCharge’s demand management charger platform, which provides optimised charging sessions.
By plugging in at specified times and putting energy back into the grid, active participants of the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project are expected to earn a minimum reward up to the monetary value of £120, available over the one-year trial period from March 2021 to March 2022. Over 400 EV drivers have applied to join Electric Nation so far, however recruitment remains open to ensure the project secures 100 participants that meet all the eligibility criteria.
• Must be resident in the Western Power Distribution (WPD) licence area (Midlands, South West and South Wales)
• Must have a Nissan EV with a battery capacity of at least 30kWh or more
• Need to have the vehicle until the end of the trial (March 2022)
• Need to have off-road parking
• Will use the CrowdCharge mobile app to manage charging
• May need to switch to a new energy tariff if required by their assigned project energy supplier
• May need to have a new smart meter put in/updated as part of the project participation.
Although the application process for the Electric Nation Vehicle to Grid project is now open, the timescale for charger installations is subject to confirmation based on government advice in relation to COVID-19.
For more information and to apply to join the project visit www.electricnation.org.uk