From Vehicle to Voltage: How V2G Technology is Electrifying Commercial EV Fleets

Saurabh Singh July 28, 2023
V2G Technology for Commercial EV Fleets

The automotive industry is getting ready for moving their current vehicle segments to electric versions in addition to introducing new fleets as they prepare for a time when ICE cars will be completely replaced by their EV counterparts. The sign of which can be seen in the Electric Commercial Vehicle market being expected to reach $558.4 billion by 2031.

Now that the benefits of electric vehicles ranging from high efficiency, low cost, and easy maintenance, are backing this massive market size, the industry is trying to add value in the form of vehicle-to-grid technology.

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What is Vehicle-to-Grid V2G technology?

Vehicle-to-grid or V2G technology is the one which enables energy to get pushed back into the power grid from an electric vehicle’s battery. Through this technology, the EV battery can be discharged on the basis of different signals like consumption and energy production, etc. The idea behind commercial EV fleet electrification with V2G is fairly similar to regular smart charging which makes it possible for you to control the EV charging by increasing or lowering it when needed.

Vehicle-to-Grid V2G technology

How does V2G technology work?

V2G technology for commercial EV fleets work by enabling the EV to draw energy from the power grid and at the same time, allowing it to send that electricity back in peak demand time or when the users have to sell off the extra energy. Now for the V2G integration in commercial fleet to work perfectly, it is critical that multiple technical requirements are met.

  • V2G charging station – These stations are very different from the regular EV chargers. They enable communication between the commercial EV, the charging station, and the backend management software that controls how much electricity the EV is drawing and the amount it should return.
  • V2G compatible fleet – At the time of writing this article, there are very few V2G-enabled commercial fleets in the markets with the popular ones being from Nissan and Mitsubishi. In addition to these, Ford, Hyundai, and Volkswagen are planning to enter the space in the coming years.
  • V2G solutions for commercial EV fleets – A dedicated V2G software with features like plug and charge, EV charging load management, EV charging load balancing, and dynamic billing will be needed to build stronger vehicle-to-grid business models.

Now that we have looked into the working of V2G technology for commercial EV fleets, let us dive into the reasons why it’s time for the category to move into the production stage from its current conceptualization phase.

Also read: How much does it cost to build an EV charging management software?

The benefits of integrating EV fleet management with V2G technology

One thing the automotive industry has witnessed over the years is the fact that EV owners don’t care about charging. So for making the V2G applications in commercial EV fleets mainstream, it is necessary for the domain to offer benefits to the sector’s stakeholders.

The biggest V2G benefits for commercial EVs lies in the ability to lower the dependency on fossil fuels which contribute to the business’s sustainability goals. Moreover, it acts as a reliable source of income for the EV fleet owners wherein they can sell their unutilized energy to the power grid. These range of benefits from environmental to monetary is something that leaves an impact across the entire automotive industry.

Here are the pros of Vehicle-to-Grid V2G technology for different stakeholders.

Which sectors can benefit from V2G technology?

In real estate

The advantages of the technology are fairly visible when the power from the fleet can be used in areas where it is needed the most. It can help balance the electricity demand while avoiding unnecessary costs for growing the electricity system.

In power grid

When the consumption rises, it can end up overloading the power grid. Through the V2G technology, the power can be distributed to areas where it is needed in order to lower the grid congestion.

In commercial EV fleets

The fleet operators can be a part of a V2G program to earn extra revenue. With the technology, the fleets can use vehicles as temporary energy storage which comes in very handy when the business relies on building operations. For example, in the time of power outage, the energy can be stored in a vehicle and then get discharged in your business’s building when needed.

Out of all the stakeholders, the biggest impact of the technology can be seen in commercial EV fleet electrification with V2G due to its mass scale and high contribution to the power grid.

V2G applications in commercial EV fleets

Electrifying commercial EV fleets with V2G technology comes with a range of applications that can lead a long-lasting impact on the automotive industry.

System GHG reduction

The impact of V2G technology on commercial EV fleets can be seen in how electricity shortages can be compensated with the energy from electric commercial vehicles instead of using fossil-fuel based power plants. This, in turn, increases system utilization rate and increases the reduction in carbon emission.

System renewable integration

There is a massive supply in the world’s energy generation dynamics which is not always in sync with the demand. For example, wind farms might generate more electricity at night compared to day, while the demand is higher in day time. Vehicle-to-Grid V2G technology can help here by storing that excess energy in the night in the EV vehicles.

Better revenue management

V2G technology optimization for commercial fleets can lead to lowered ownership costs for the EV fleet owners by offering them extra revenue streams for offsetting the energy cost. Moreover, the costs to ratepayers gets further reduced by setting limits to the existing distribution infrastructure, lowering the need for building newer fossil generation sources.

Explore our EV software development services

Understanding the impact of V2G technology on commercial EV fleets would require looking into some real-world examples of how the technology can be used on a mass scale. We have brought together multi-scenario examples to help you understand how the technology can leave a long-term impact on your business.

Case studies of commercial EV fleet electrification with V2G

Fleet of car manufacturers

An EV car manufacturer stores the cars that come off the production line before they get sold to the distributors. Now, these cars are usually parked for days before being taken off site, in an idle state. In this scenario, when they use the Vehicle-to-Grid V2G technology and keep the cars plugged in the grid, the fleet acts as a huge stationary storage resource which can generate revenue worth 3.2 million €/year.

V2G powered city buses

The public sector, across the world, has committed itself to electrification under which cities have started electrifying their fleet like bus transportation. In a non V2G scenario, public buses are used extensively and can deplete batteries upto 300 KWH per day – an event that puts high requirements on the power grid connection when fast charging is required in the depot.

Through the inclusion of V2G integration in commercial fleet, the difference in bus schedules are analyzed to create ways for minimizing depot charging load and the operational expense of electric bus charging.

Now that we have looked into the different facets of how V2G technology works and benefits the commercial EV fleets, you must be wondering where Appinventiv fits into this domain. Well, a less talked about but critical element of the Vehicle-to-Grid V2G technology space lies in the software that works in the backend and that is where Appinventiv comes into the picture.

The role that Appinventiv plays in electrifying commercial EV fleets with V2G technology

The place where we fit into the automotive puzzle is V2G software development. Having studied the V2G implementation challenges and solutions extensively, we have found the following ways our software expertise can help make the domain more efficient through a mobile application.

  • Provide users with information around battery status, usage, and savings
  • Provide intuitive visualizations and insights through connected devices that analyze operational data from combined charging systems.
  • Transparently transfer energy between vehicles and power grid without relying on a mediator through blockchain. The technology can also be combined with V2G to build a tokenized system which rewards users with tokens for using their cars as buffers.
  • Embed AI to monitor the electricity production and grid status to suggest charge and discharge patterns, which can lead to streamlined battery life and efficiency.
  • Provide a module to track energy consumption, sale, and earnings.

These are only a few of the many ways we can help automotive companies in establishing V2G technology for sustainable transportation. As the technology prepares to go mainstream, the different stakeholders of the domain are bound to launch new campaigns and approaches to establish its popularity among users.

With a plethora of electric vehicle mobile app development development services we act as a torchbearer for new technologies adoption. Our team has already started working on the use cases for commercial EV fleet electrification with V2G software development so that we can help you become one of the pioneers in the space.

If you have a use case for V2G technology optimization for commercial fleets in mind, get in touch with us today.

FAQs around using V2G technology for commercial EV fleets

Q. What is V2G technology?

A. The Vehicle-to-Grid V2G technology enables electric vehicles to work as energy storage devices that provide two-way power flow between the electricity grid and the vehicle. This means, the EVs don’t just draw power to charge the battery but also supply excess power back to the grid.

Q. How does V2G technology works?

A. The technology works on a bidirectional charger which can both charge the vehicle’s battery and discharge it again to the grid. It is typically managed by a smart grid platform which controls charging and discharging of the battery on the basis of pricing, demand, and other factors.

Q. What are the benefits of implementing V2G technology in commercial EV fleets?

A. The benefits of commercial EV fleet electrification with V2G can be seen through multiple facets –

  • Cost saving through selling excess power to the grid.
  • Grid balancing by providing excess power during peak demand and stabilizing voltage fluctuations.
  • Integration of intermittent renewable energy sources into the grid.
  • Lowering the need for costly grid upgrades.

Q. How does V2G technology impact the operational costs of commercial EV fleets?

A. The way V2G technology reduces the operational costs of commercial EV fleets is by generating revenue by selling the excess electricity stored in the vehicle back to the grid or using it in other resources. Moreover, businesses can earn revenue by offering their EVs for voltage and frequency regulation services whenever required.

THE AUTHOR
Saurabh Singh
CEO & Director
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