Plymouth City Council in the UK is set to implement a pilot project testing the use of vehicle to grid capability with its electric vehicle fleet.
The council has partnered with technology conglomerate Cisco to trial Cisco’s E-Flex demonstration project, which will implement vehicle to grid technology in the council’s six Nissan Leaf electric vehicles. Each car will be fitted with a bidirectional charger, which allows vehicles to draw electrical charge from the energy grid and then return unused electricity back to the grid when the vehicle is not in use: the technology enables the user to save on costs and reduces pressure on the grid at times of peak charging.
Maria Hernandez, Head of Innovation at Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “As we are seeing in the private sector, now more than ever before, it’s crucial for towns and cities to align their future goals with sustainable industry and a plan to reduce carbon emissions. With the potential to transform the way urban areas consume energy, [vehicle to grid] technology is a win-win for council fleets, business fleets and public sector services alike.”
Plymouth City Council has set a target of achieving carbon neutrality throughout the city by 2030 and is working towards driving private investment in sustainable initiatives, as well as engendering a future collaboration between Plymouth University and private businesses with the aim of developing a sustainable innovation hub in the city.
Plymouth City Council’s Low Carbon City Officer Dan Turner said: “Plymouth is a particularly strained part of the grid, with Cornwall generating a lot of renewable energy but delivering this further up the country at times of high demand. For businesses to grow, we need to find new ways to support their energy consumption whilst reducing connection costs across the city, so the V2G [vehicle to grid] concept appeals to us from a grid management perspective as well as a commercial one.”