Government invests £20 million in vehicle-to-grid technology

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A new investment by the government will help develop electric vehicle technology, in a bid to return energy back to the grid

 

Vehicle-to-grid technology allows plug-in electric cars to not only draw power from the grid when charging, but then to return it to people’s homes or back to the grid – creating a smarter and more fuel efficient energy system.

This project, part of the government’s Industrial Strategy, aims to increase the number of electric cars on UK roads. There are already 100,000 electric cars and 11,000 charge points in use as a result of the government’s commitment to innovative technologies. Financial support for energy innovation is targeted to double by 2021, with over £600 million already being invested to accelerate the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, Claire Perry said: “Vehicle-to-grid technology provides another opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world our leading expertise in research and development, which is at the heart of our ambitious Industrial Strategy.

“This competition could unlock significant economic benefits for the UK - helping to create jobs in this burgeoning sector while helping to reduce our emissions.”

Alternatively fuelled car numbers increasing

This comes as figures by The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) revealed an increase of 29.0% in alternatively fuelled vehicles in the UK for second month in a row, as more than 10,700 hit the roads.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: “It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles experiencing rapid growth, but adoption is still at a relatively low level and more long term incentives are required if this new generation of vehicles is to be a more common sight on British roads.”

This week’s announcement of a further £20 million investment is a positive step in the right direction, as investment will be awarded to three types of vehicle-to-grid projects:

  • Feasibility studies – investigating the ways in which vehicle-to-grid technologies can be used in the future
  • Industrial research or experimental development - for example, developing vehicle-to-grid charging equipment
  • Demonstrator trials in the real-world environment - projects that trial vehicle-to-grid technology in different locations across the country.

The competition process will start in the next few weeks, with the aim of winners being notified in December and projects starting in early 2018.

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