To deliver on the promise of zero-emission transport, it is not only necessary to curb tailpipe emissions, but also to build out the generation and storage of renewable energy. If the electricity needed to charge your EV does not come from renewable sources, the full potential of EVs to decarbonise transport cannot be realised. EVs can play an important role in balancing the grid, while second-life batteries play a critical role in energy storage. This interdependence of the automotive and the energy sectors is creating an abundance of exciting innovation, from smart charging software to mobile storage solutions that form part of a circular value chain for used batteries, turning the battery from a liability into an asset.
Connecting EVs with the energy system
Renewable energy generation is by its very nature intermittent—the sun does not always shine and the wind does not blow. Energy therefore needs to be stored behind the meter in order to capture excess supply and release energy during peak demand. EVs are effectively batteries on wheels. For example, the battery of a Jaguar I Pace (90kWh) can power an average UK household for more than a week. Smart charging connects a vehicle to the grid, storing energy at the edge of the grid when it is not needed and releasing it when required. EV owners can configure the software so that their mobility requirements are factored in—such as making sure the vehicle is 80% charged every morning by 7:30 am—as they help to balance the grid. We also anticipate that the EV as a storage device will become an increasingly attractive choice for households who generate their own energy.
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