Pike Research forecasts annual investments in vehicle-to building technologies will reach about $103M worldwide by 2020
|Annual total V2B investment by region, world markets: 2012-2020. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge.|
Despite the potential of defraying a plug-in vehicle’s cost by supporting a building’s energy consumption, vehicle-to-building technology (V2B) as a viable commercial market is still 3 to 5 years off, according to a new report from Pike Research.
Pike Research that vehicle investment to enable V2B will be about $27 million worldwide annually by 2020, while investments in required upgrades to infrastructure—including power electronics, inverters, and power management software—will grow to nearly $76 million worldwide, annually, by then.
Retrofitting vehicles with V2B technology is more costly than installing it in new vehicles at the factory, and the lack of clearly defined applications and market demand for V2B services has not encouraged original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to consider factory installations.
Since automakers do not partake in the financial benefits from the use of vehicles for V2B demand charge reduction and the vehicle’s batteries can be negatively impacted, there is little incentive for the OEMs to offer this more costly and complicated bi-directional charging option. A lack of understanding about the benefits of V2B and the lack of standards for this technology are confusing for the customer at best, and will continue to inhibit demand. Until these factors change, V2B will be limited to more costly retrofits, or a more costly offboard inverter solution.—“Vehicle to Building Technologies”
V2B technologies have many commonalities with those required for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services. However, whereas V2G requires smart grid technology, V2B activities only require communication between a building and its energy management systems, EV charging equipment, and PEVs that are on the market today.
Numerous pilot projects are now underway around the world to develop and test V2B technologies, according to the report, the majority of which are part of larger projects that are testing microgrid and smart grid technologies. V2B is one element that is being integrated with renewable energy generation, smart buildings, smart EV charging, and in some cases, stationary backup storage.
Although recent projects have grown more ambitious, with the number of PEVs participating in the projects increasing, they are still at the scale of integrating hundreds, and not yet thousands of vehicles.