Families could use EV batteries to power their homes and save on bills as government backs new charging technologies

Business / Fri 29th Dec 2023 at 08:25am

FAMILIES could soon save hundreds of pounds on energy bills by using electricity stored in their electric vehicles (EVs) to power home appliances such as fridges and washing machines – thanks to new two-way charging technologies being supported with government funding.

Households could power their home appliances as a result of the development of bidirectional charging, which enables electricity stored in a vehicle’s battery to flow back into the grid or back into the home and workplaces, which can then be used to power other devices.

This builds on existing smart charging technologies, where EVs can be charged when electricity prices are lower overnight. Families could then use these Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technologies to save money on their bills by selling the electricity back to the grid when prices are higher.

Businesses could also benefit from the V2X technologies by storing electricity in their fleets of EVs and using it to power their operations at a later date. These technologies will also help make it even easier to rely on renewable technologies such as solar panels, with less need for fossil fuels to provide for surges in demand by allowing stored renewable energy to be sold into the grid instead.

Four projects are today receiving a share of £4.8 million of government funding to support their work testing and implementing these innovative technologies.

The successful companies are:

  • Hangar19 Ltd in Chelmsford – will demonstrate a three-socket bidirectional charger, making a wider range of EVs available for energy flexibility and bidirectional charging.
  • 3ti Energy Hubs Ltd in Leatherhead – will combine a quick-to-deploy bidirectional charging hub with a solar canopy and energy storage battery, house in recycled shipping containers, which can make access to bidirectional charging available in more destinations, including vehicle depots.
  • Otaski Energy Solutions Ltd in Gateshead – will trial their bidirectional EV charger to enable fleet EV operators to access energy in a flexible way which could deliver savings in line with electricity supply and demand surges. 
  • Electric Green Limited in London – will work with QEnergy to trial wireless V2X technology with a fleet of 20 delivery vehicles at Royal Mail.

Today’s funding builds on existing government funding for electric vehicle charging, such as the £70 million pilot scheme, announced at COP28 in Dubai. This will also boost the number of ultra-rapid charge points at motorway services.

It comes as some of the world’s leading car manufacturers are choosing the UK as their home to develop the latest electric vehicles and the battery technology. They include:

  • BMW, who have announced a £600 million investment to transform their Oxford plant to build the electric Mini
  • Tata’s Jaguar Land Rover, who are investing £4 billion in a new gigafactory to create up to 4,000 highly skilled jobs; and
  • Nissan, who have announced they are delivering up to £2 billion investment to create a new electric vehicle manufacturing hub in Sunderland – helping put more zero emission vehicles on UK roads.

The UK has also committed to ending the sale of all new non-zero emission vehicles by 2035 to support the delivery of net zero. This ambition, combined with government support for industry through technologies like V2X, is helping cement the UK’s world leading position in the design, manufacture, and use of zero emissions vehicles, which will provide economic growth by stimulating employment, investment, and exports.

This follows the Prime Minister’s proportionate and pragmatic decision to delay the ban on new diesel and petrol cars from 2030 to 2035 – bringing the UK in line with countries such as Canada and Spain – which will support manufacturers and families in making the switch to electric, providing flexibility while also helping to grow the economy.

The programme is part of the overarching up to £65 million Flexibility Innovation Programme, supporting the efficient and flexible use of electricity, within the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

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5 Comments for Families could use EV batteries to power their homes and save on bills as government backs new charging technologies:

Guy Flegman
2023-12-29 09:01:47

Headline should read “your electric car will be used to fill gaps in the electricity grid due to lack of infrastructure investment over the last 30 years”

2023-12-29 11:12:05

Is this a joke? You use your mains electricity to charge the car and then run your house on battery power, absolutely stunning!

Luke Burton
2023-12-29 11:54:26

This sort of load-balancing is not new technology. Japan has been doing it for years and many EVs these days already have VTG technology. On paper I have no issue with this. Anything to reduce the bath-tub effect on the national grid is a good thing but as others have said - this must not be a substitute for proper investment in infrastructure.

2023-12-31 12:37:28

First households have to raise the £30k to buy the EV car. If they can afford that to buy a vehicle that's using a dead end technology then they'll not be bothered about saving a few pounds on their energy bills. The vast majority of the population cannot afford these overweight, energy insecure cars (Lithium comes from China and Chile: UK at best only could mine less than 9 % of what we would need and mining is highly polluting) Far better to insulate buildings and use solar, wind and wave energy solutions as part of a move to a hydrogen economy. Those millionaires in government don't have a clue about the pressures on most uk families.

Mark Lavender
2023-12-31 20:51:34

Anyone going to respond to my query as to how we retrofit homes over the next two election cycles? Surely we cannot leave this to individual homeowners/residents? We either do this as a community or we end up with a hotchpotch only good enough until the next best thing in energy generation or insulation comes along.

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