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University of Delaware Licenses V2G Technology to AutoPort; 100 V2G EVs as Test Fleet

Components of a V2G system. Source: PJM. Click to enlarge.

The University of Delaware has signed the first license for its vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology with AutoPort, Inc., a major vehicle processing and modification facility in New Castle, Del. Under the terms of the licensing agreement, AutoPort has been granted non-exclusive rights in the area of commercial fleet vehicles.

The licensing agreement launches the first large-scale demonstration of the UD-developed V2G technology, which enables electric car owners to plug in their vehicles and send electricity back to electrical utilities. During the next year, AutoPort, in partnership with AC Propulsion, plans to retrofit the first 100 V2G cars as a proof-of-concept demonstration of the technology, which was developed by Willett Kempton, a professor in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, and UD research fellow Jasna Tomić.

The UD agreement with Autoport stands to benefit not only the owners of electric cars, but also the regional economy, and the University, which will get R&D experience as the technology goes into real-world use. If the initial test is successful, and V2G vehicles are subsequently manufactured, the University would receive a royalty for each vehicle sold with V2G equipment.

AC Propulsion, based in San Dimas, Calif., makes the electric drive system and designed the eBox, an all-electric car. They have added V2G features as a result of working with UD researchers.

AC Propulsion V2G eBox Quick Specs
  • 120 kW; 220N·m 13,000 rpm drive system
  • 35 kWh Li-ion battery pack
  • Onboard charger, up to 18 kW
  • Bi-directional power converter up to 18 kW
  • Range 120-150 miles
  • Top speed 95 mph
  • Dick Johnson, AutoPort’s director of business development, said that AutoPort will work with major companies in the area to demonstrate the V2G concept. A minimum of 60 vehicles is needed to produce one megawatt of power when the vehicles are plugged into the grid. The company currently is completing four vehicles for the State of Delaware and expects to have the first 100 vehicles produced in the next 12 to 18 months, he said.

    Although the first vehicle conversions have been to Toyota Scions, Johnson said that other car models are being considered, and the company is approaching some of their large-fleet customers about converting their three- to five-year-old Chevrolet vans.

    This has great appeal to them because we are extending the useful life of a fully depreciated asset and making it into a maintenance-free revenue-producing vehicle on the grid.

    —Dick Johnson

    The 2009 study Betting on Science: Disruptive Technologies in Transport Fuels by Accenture, a global consulting group, acknowledges the potential of V2G, highlighting how demonstration projects to date “have proven that V2G has the potential to significantly disrupt supply and demand relationships-with end electricity consumers potentially becoming an essential grid storage resource-and to change the landscapes for electric power and transport fuels.

    In September 2009, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 153, which rewards owners of V2G technology for plugging into the grid, compensating them for electricity sent back to the grid at the same rate they pay for electricity to charge their car battery. (The signing ceremony was held at AutoPort.)

    A bill introduced in Congress in December 2009 would provide funding to the Department of Energy and US Postal Service to convert existing mail trucks and manufacture new ones to use the UD-developed V2G technology. AC Propulsion and AutoPort are partnering in engineering, development and conversion to provide an EV conversion prototype and report for the United States Postal Service. The USPS chose this as one of five solutions in a feasibility study for the possible conversion of its 142,000 Long Life Vehicles (LLVs) to plug-in Battery Electric Vehicles. (Earlier post.)




    Another EV trail, but 60 EV's yielding a grid megawatt (enough power for 600-800 US dwellings) is worth study.


    I meant EV trial. Dyslexia is a bicth.


    Can't help but wonder if all the hardware and software needed to provide the regulation of V2G across a widely separated physical area (eg a county or province) - won't cost vastly more than the value of the grid levelling provided.


    Maybe some of the expense could help two-way wind/solar/? as well.


    How is this supposed to work. This is an all electric car, right? So you put power in the battery when it is low and then you take power out when demand on the grid is high? What happens if you decide to go to a movie while your car is generously providing power back to the grid? Does your car ask you, "Would you like to drive to work in the morning or would you perfer that I help your utility avoid upgrading there system by proping up this side of town?" If this car were a hybrid with a diesel gen set or something to that effect i may see it working. I might see my car saying "hey look at that the grid is about to collapse and I have a full tank. The utility is paying $.15 per kW-hr right now. Would you like to make some money off your utilities incompitance by burning some of this diesel fuel?"

    This seems like a gemick. If this worked why don't people have deep cell batteries at there house to change and then resell the power back to the utility. (this is essentially the same thing) Where is my gain from reselling electricity back to the grid at the same rate that I bought it at? You know the utilities do this for themselves. Its called pumped storage, except they can take advantage of changing electrical rates.



    Brian:  One vehicle at 18 kW, or even 100 vehicles, aren't going to make a difference on the scale of a city, let alone a grid.  You'd probably set your vehicle to keep enough spare charge for random jaunts and just unplug when you want to.  If you want to recharge at the mall, you would buy power from the people who stayed at home that day.  Other days you might be the one selling.  It all evens out.

    Will S


    One wouldn't need to keep all 100 miles of range available at all times. And genset trailers will become popular as a rental or outright ownership, so if one needed to zip off to distant places, they could still do so.

    Having every whim available at all times, however, should not be the focus, as this kind of attitude has gotten us deep into a serious foreign energy dependency bind, which includes both national security and economic risks. Instead, we should be focusing on how we can eliminate the foreign oil 'deficit' we are running, without going from the frying pan into the fire.

    Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security



    I know all about how much money we spend to defend to worlds oil supply. I want off foriegn oil as much as the next guy but we do not have to give up our life style to get it.

    Personally, I think we should stop giving money to oil companies. All the money that we do spend on defending oil should then be taxed at the pump not on April 15. If that were the case the at the pump price would be 5 or 6 bucks a gallon and market forces would drive the changes you want and not require government mandates. But our politicans have no spine and can't see past the next election. How stupid is it to pay oil companys to bring us more and then tax us for using it.

    If I own a car why shouldn't i be able to get in it at my whim. Like I said if you wanted to do what you are talking about why don't you just go buy some deep cell batteries and plug those in. Its the same thing. Why does it have to be a battery in a car. If you are willing to give up the freedom to get in your car and go where ever when ever why are not not pushing for light rail and just give up the car completely.

    The american people are car people. While you and your flower power friends may be willing to give up some of your freedoms to achive this goal the rest of america isn't.

    Work something out with the utility where i can pay variable rates for electricity like industrial customers do and I will be willing to buy and sell power/



    USA is a free country. Sellers and buyers should be able to negotiate their own variable rates for V2G services. If not, they can disconnect or abstain.

    USA will eventually have 100++ million BEVs with 50 Kwh to 100 Kwh on-board e-storage units. That is many hundred million Kwh available to meet peak demands, specially when Wind and Solar power supplies an important percentage of the energy to the national grid.

    Over night charging at low cost ($0.05/Kwh) and reselling at much higher cost ($0.25+/Kwh) may be a good way to reduce e-car owners energy cost while stabilizing supply and demand.


    The USA is a mostly free country, but only because monopolies and monopsonies can be regulated.  If any one selling or buying entity gets too powerful, the freedom in its market disappears.

    Ideally, the USA would have many buyers and many sellers in all markets.


    Very interesting study I would love to be part of the project only if my Toyota Plug in Prius could qualify with it 5 KW lithium ion battery.

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