|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|
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.)
Betting on Science, Disruptive Technologies in Transport Fuels (Overview) (Accenture, 2009)
Vehicle to Grid Technology (Univ. of Delaware)
Jasna Tomić and Willett Kempton (2007) Using fleets of electric-drive vehicles for grid support. Journal of Power Sources, Volume 168, Issue 2, Pages 459-468 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2007.03.010.
Vehicle to Grid Power (Presentation to Delaware Public Service Commission, Kempton, 2009