Surplus electricity from EVs could be sold back to grid

3 June 2021   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology could give drivers the option to sell surplus electricity back to the grid from their electric vehicle battery.

A year-long trial has found customers using the technology could save up to £725 annually, potentially offsetting most of the costs from their home energy bills.

At the end of the trial, three quarters of EV owners taking part believed V2G capability was important for their next vehicle.

However, the report authors concede the costs of V2G are still too high for most customers and recommend funding for V2G chargers to help the UK meet its climate goals by 2050.

electric car charging

V2G trial

Between January and December 2020, the Sciurus project analysed the behaviour of 320 drivers with a V2G chargepoint and assessed how much money could be earned by selling surplus electricity back to the national grid.

They found that basic V2G technology could save customers £340 per year while the use of a smart platform from Kaluza could increase savings up to £725.

Domestic vehicle-to-grid technology has only been widely available for a few years, and the model potentially allows customers to offset their home electricity bills by selling back to the grid at peak times.


The major obstacle for widespread adoption of V2G technology remains the price - a V2G chargepoint with installation currently costs around £3,700 more than a typical home EV chargepoint.

In the report's findings, it's suggested this figure could drop dramatically in the coming years if mass production of V2G chargers takes off, bringing it down to around £1,000.

At £1,000 per installation, drivers would expect to be able to pay off their initial investment within five years.

Other potential obstacles were highlighted at the beginning of the study when participants expressed concerns about V2G technology.

These included worries about battery degradation, reliability, the car not being charged when it came to be used, costs and useability.

After using the V2G charger, the vast majority of respondents had no concerns about usage. This suggests participation in the trial alleviated their concerns about how reliable the technology was and whether it would cause battery degradation.

Three quarters of participants subsequently said they thought it was important for their next EV to have V2G capability thanks to their engagement with the trial.

Net zero future

Supporting the growth of electric vehicles is a key element of the plans to reduce the UK's carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

It's currently expected the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars and other vehicles will be banned from 2030 onwards, meaning customers will move in ever-increasing numbers to EVs over the coming years.

We've seen energy companies taking steps towards helping EV owners in recent years with a growing number of suppliers offering tariffs aimed at EV users like this one launched by E.ON back in 2017.

Steps to improve the public EV charging infrastructure are also underway, with Octopus Energy helping to create an EV roaming network in the form of their Electric Juice Network.

Strategies to improve the EV network such as vehicle-to-grid chargepoints could play a pivotal role in the future of driving and energy usage in the future, yet it's clear prices are going to need to drop or funding will be required to make it a reality.

OVO were one of the companies behind Project Sciurus. They also recently commissioned a report on heat pump technology for homes and how the Government can better support it.

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