East Anglia’s EEMC hears that the UK government is funding a feasibility study of almost £10m to see if electric cars can be used as mobile mini power stations. The need for more battery storage to hold renewable energy is a priority for the UK government’s target of cutting 80% carbon emissions by 2050.

The trial run by Nissan and partner firms involves 1,000 car charging points, that will attempt to feed power back into the national grid – whilst the EV is plugged in at night.

The idea capitalises on many drivers’ predictable patterns – going to work in the morning and back home at night. Whilst the electric vehicle is charging in the office car park it would be programmed to use power at its cheapest (when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining) then at home the EV would be plugged into the grid giving back energy for the peak time evening demand. Also, when the wind is blowing at night, the charge-flow is reversed for the EV next day’s commute!

A spokesperson for Nissan confirmed that by “Allowing EV’s to return energy to the power grid when parked…. “it will allow for better exploitation of renewable sources and lower the cost of ownership for EV owners,” Furthermore the spokesperson said “It will lead to new business opportunities and clear advantages for EV users and energy consumers.”

Speaking on behalf of Northern Powergrid, Patrick Erwin, said of the study: “The growth in electric vehicles will provide greater system flexibility and use of renewable energy sources “Vehicle-to-grid also offers the prospect of enabling our customers to gain income from their vehicles by selling services to the energy system.”

English Electric Motor Co hopes to see an equivalent electric motorcycle/bike/scooter trial in the near future.

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