Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

V2G charging better value than EV smart charging, says Cenex

Steve Rogerson
May 21, 2019
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging delivers greater value than standard electric vehicle smart charging, according to Cenex, the UK’s first centre of excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies.
The V2G report highlights over £436m of potential annual revenues.
Cenex has launched the detailed analysis of the costs and opportunities of V2G charging of electric vehicles (EVs). The report found that bidirectional V2G charging, which sees vehicles provide energy from their batteries to the grid when plugged in, delivers greater value and revenues than unidirectional smart charging.
The report indicates the potential value that can be earned by V2G is highly dependent on the customer, with certain types seeing much greater value than others. However, the average V2G charge point could generate £186 of additional annual value compared with unmanaged charging, through a combination of energy bill savings and additional revenue from grid services. When compared with unmanaged charging, smart charging captures between 40 and 80% of the value of V2G. If V2G is unable to access grid services, then smart charging gives the upper range of that value.
However, one of the findings shows that these revenues increase the longer vehicles spend plugged in. This means that V2G charge points where EVs are connected for 75% or more of the time could generate £436 per annum of savings, compared with unidirectional smart charging. Based on an assumed one million EVs in the UK with this plug-in behaviour, this group alone has the potential to generate an annual revenue of £436m.
The largest percentage of V2G revenues come from providing grid services, such as firm frequency response (FFR). However, there is significant risk to grid service revenue for V2G, with at least half of the revenue at risk from falling FFR prices.
The research is based on Cenex’s work within the Innovate UK funded projects V2G-Britain, Sciurus and EV-elocity. This information has been used to model 34 domestic and commercial customer archetypes, based on charging behaviour of particular groups. Cenex found six archetypes that were best suited to V2G and which offer large-scale opportunities in the UK market:

  • Council fleet – pool cars
  • EV car clubs
  • Company car park
  • Retired professional
  • Eco-professional
  • Run-around EV as second car
"While there has been an increasing focus on vehicle-to-grid charging, until now there has been a lack of clear data on its costs and opportunities, holding back the ability of organisations ro build effective business cases," said Robert Evans, CEO of Cenex. “This report is the first step to bridging this information gap, and it shows multiple use cases where V2G delivers additional revenues and value above smart charging, especially around grid services. By making this information available, Cenex aims to support the increased uptake of low emission vehicles and thus accelerate the move to a zero-carbon future.”
Cenex operates as an independent not-for-profit consultancy and research organisation. It specialises in the delivery of projects that support innovation and market development to accelerate the shift to a low emission mobility. By encouraging the early market adoption of low emission and fuel cell technologies in automotive applications, Cenex aims to help the UK automotive supply chain compete in global markets, as well as showcasing UK expertise to encourage inward investment.