How Electric Cars Could Save the Grid

300 electric cars with vehicle-to-grid capability is sufficient for a utility operator to take advantage of their energy storage capability.

Published: 30-Dec-2007

a new, gas-powered auto and it depreciates by hundreds, even thousands of dollars as soon as you drive it off the lot. But buy an electric car and you could receive hundreds, even thousands, of dollars a year, just for plugging it in.

The cash benefit is just one of many in the so-called "vehicle to grid" -- or V2G -- project being developed by researchers at the University of Delaware.

Their idea is simple: electric cars have to plug into the power grid anyway to get their batteries recharged. Why not use those batteries collectively as electricity "sponges" to soak up and wring out the excess power from utility companies that fluctuates notoriously on any given day?

Utility companies would benefit because they'd have a place to store energy; car owners would receive a fee to participate; and car manufacturers would have an attractive selling-point by which to promote their vehicles.


Woman says battery-powered car creates no emissions, doesn't pollute the air. Photo credit: by Kevin G. Gilbert, Herald-Mail Staff Photographer. High res version avaiable on paper web site.

The Volt can be fully charged by plugging it into a 110-volt outlet for approximately six hours a day.

The Chevrolet Volt E-Flex concept electric car represents a marked shift at General Motors as the company tries to wrestle a reputation for high technology back from its archrival Toyota.


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