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PHOTO CAPTION: Technician plugs in Nissan electric cars, allowing two-way exchange of energy,

Denmark's V2G Parker Project Taps Multiple EV Models

Vehicle-to-Grid capabilities achieve milestone with demonstration of connecting three different car brands: Nissan, Mitsubishi and PSA Groupe.

Published: 16-Nov-2017

With an estimated two-million electric cars now on the world's roads, and many more coming as carmakers vie for shares of what will be the most important new market in the automotive world since the introduction of the electric starter, that fleet of rolling battery banks represents a potentially important energy storage resource, especially for variables energy sources like wind and solar.

In their present configuration, those cars can absorb electric current from the grid in their battery packs, which range from around 20kWh to 100 or more. That enough to power the average american home for maybe a day at the low end: significant, but not meaningful. But, put all those cars together and we're now talking gigawatts of energy storage, and that is meaningful, especially to power generators IF the flow of electronics can go BOTH ways, into and out of the battery.

There have been single car model experiments in this two-way flow of energy, or what's called V2G, dating back to the early 2000's with the pioneering work of Alan Coconni and AC Propulsion. In 2009, the University of Delaware demonstrated a small fleet of V2G-capable Toyota Scions built by AC Propulsion. Nissan would do some initial experimentation with a LEAF, but no one had proven the feasibility of connecting different brands and models of electric cars to the grid in V2G configuration.

Fast forward to late 2017 and the Parker Project in Denmark has now done precisely that, connecting three different bands and electric car models and moving energy both into and out of their batteries. Those companies are Nissan, Mitsubishi and PSA Groupe, the French carmaker behind Peugeot and Citroen. According to the Danish consortium that also includes Italian energy producer ENEL, "the project will, among other things, assess the vehicles’ ability to provide frequency regulation, grid overload prevention and do real-time charging in accordance with a CO2 signal which informs the vehicle of when the CO2 emission from energy producers are at their lowest."

While the cars represented in the project are badged to represent the three different car manufacturers, strictly speaking they actually represent just two firms: Nissan, which manufacturers that top selling EV in the world, and Mitsubishi, maker of the Outlander PHEV and iMEV, at one time the most widely sold electric car in the world.

The project will run until next summer, at which point researchers say they "will be able to define which grid services and technical capabilities electric vehicles across car brands must support, and how these are best combined to balance the power system."

Funded by ForskEL, the project is budgeted for some US$2.33M.

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