Been a long time coming, this third wave for Electric transportation. This time it sticks. Couldn't come at a better time. Resource wars looming and carbon mitigation on the fast track. Mobility-rich lifestyles spreading to the rest of the world. Drive for sustainable practices, both business and personal. Grid reliability.
Wait... Grid reliability? Isn't this an apple in with those oranges? No, think about it. These vehicles have the inherent energy transfer rates (power) of 5 average sized homes running full out on a hot summer day. They also have enough energy stored (capacity) to run one of those homes at that flat out level for 8-10 hours, or perhaps for a couple of days at a minimized emergency operations level. So think about how important it is to carefully manage the recharging (or discharging) in coordination with grid conditions to make sure the lights stay on for everyone. A no brainerBut the real opportunity is cooler still.
Imagine the vehicle plugged in while parked, and coordinating with the electric grid and electricity markets to automatically (and instantly) give and take short power bursts as a compensation mechanism for the fluctuations within the less consistent renewable supply portion (wind and solar) upstream in the generation mix. Well, the markets are there, with significant payments to make for providers of those services (called Ancillary Services) and the average vehicle owner will be able to get their EV to PAY THEM BACK during those idle times of parking. This is the magic of Vehicle to Grid services. Coming soon to a charging station near you.
Hopefully, there will quickly emerge a concensus on the desirability and practicality of these services, and government policy makers, auto OEMs, and utility service providers will work together with innovative third party aggregators, and within the emerging Smart Grid standards initiatives, to enable this most powerful synergistic future between vehicles and the electricity grid.