Electric Car Pioneer Gage Forms V2G Start-Up

EV Grid will develop software and hardware to create a bi-directional flow from the power grid to the electric car battery.

Published: 08-Mar-2012

Updated: A pioneer of the electric car industry has launched a startup focused on managing the charging of groups of electric cars plugged into the power grid. Tom Gage, the former CEO of AC Propulsion — the quiet shop behind the Tesla Roadster drive train, the electric Mini and the eBox — left AC Propulsion late last year, and he told me in an exclusive interview on Monday that he incorporated his new company, EV Grid, in December.

Gage tells me that he formed EV Grid to work on so-called “vehicle to grid,” or V2G, technology, which involves using software and hardware to create a bi-directional flow from the power grid to the electric car battery. Utilities and power companies can use V2G to manage groups of electric cars plugged into their grids, and those aggregated vehicle charges can be used as on-demand energy storage, and for helping balance the grid load when needed.

The power grid is in a constant state of flux, and utilities routinely have to manage supply and demand to keep the grid balanced. But since there isn’t much energy storage attached to the grid, utilities sometimes have to do this by taking measures such as firing up diesel generators on demand. But dozens of electric vehicles plugged into the grid, and managed properly, could provide these services. At the same time, utilities could pay the car owners involved in these projects, and the car owners could recoup some of the cost of electric cars, which are still pretty expensive.

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