Aussie research team secures $2.4 million to plug electric vehicles into the power grid

electric vehicles

REVS research lead Dr Bjorn Sturmberg. Source: ANU.

A team of researchers at the Australian National University is investigating how electric vehicles can effectively be used as batteries to support the Aussie power grid.

The aptly named Realising Electric Vehicles-to-grid Services (REVS) project, will run for two years, and is backed by $2.4 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part its Advancing Renewables Program.

Researchers aim to prove the role electric vehicles could play in ensuring the reliability of energy from renewable sources, by solving one of its oft-claimed drawbacks.

Sun and wind power are unreliable, and multiple households moving to such solutions puts a strain on the existing power grid, complicating the management of it.

While developments have been made on battery storage options, this research is intended to show how electric vehicles can effectively be used as batteries, pumping power back into the grid when needed, to avoid blackout situations.

According to a release on the project, if every car in Australia was electric, they could collectively produce more than five times the power of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 energy scheme.

The project is being led by Dr Bjorn Sturmberg, of the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at ACU.

In a statement, Sturmberg said the feasibility of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services has been proven in a lab environment.

“We need to demonstrate the reliability and viability of V2G services in the real world at scale,” he explained.

“We need to prove the control, coordination, and cybersecurity of the technology systems, as well as the crucial business and regulatory models to make V2G attractive to all stakeholders.”

According to Sturmberg, one electric vehicle battery typically stores enough energy to power the average household for two to four days, and can snap into action within a tenth of a second.

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