South Australia launches bi-directional electric vehicle charging trial

South Australia launches bi-directional electric vehicle charging trial
South Australia launches bi-directional electric vehicle charging trial

A new trial has begun in South Australia to test vehicle-to-grid technology, which could turn electric cars into virtual power plants on wheels.

Flinders University in South Australia has launched a new charging station with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which allows electric vehicles to either be recharged or be used as batteries to back-up power the grid.

Partnering with French electricity company Engie and with financial backing from the State Government, the project allows up to 10 compatible electric models – such as the Nissan Leaf – to both recharge their batteries, or deposit electricity back into the system when it’s required.

Flinders University says it runs on 100 per cent renewable energy, with 20 per cent generated on-site from solar arrays.

The technology means electric vehicles can top up their batteries when there is an abundance of electricity in the grid, but can be used as a ‘virtual power plant’ to top-up electricity when there is a black-out or high demand – such as on hot days, when air-conditioners place greater stress on the grid.

It’s expected V2G and vehicle-to-home (V2H) technology will be integrated into more homes in the future, allowing an electric-car owner to drive to their workplace, charge their vehicle with renewable electricity, before driving home and plugging their car into their home – using it to offset electricity demand on the grid when there is lower input from solar and wind.

In February 2023, following a devastating cyclone that caused damage across parts of New Zealand, a number of vehicle-to-load (V2L) electric vehicles were supplied by Ecotricity to families who had their homes cut-off from the grid – allowing homes to keep their fridges operating and their phones charged while repairs took place.

RELATED: Electric cars to power South Australian homes in new trial

The post South Australia launches bi-directional electric vehicle charging trial appeared first on Drive.

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