Australian research to investigate potential of “batteries on wheels” in electricity grid

A University of Queensland study will use data from Teslascope users to examine the potential for spare electric vehicle battery capacity to support increased renewable energy in networks.

The research is a world-first, according to the university, and funded through the iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre and an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship.

Dr Jake Whitehead, E-Mobility Research Fellow at the university, said most EV users drove under 50 kilometres a day, and cars increasingly had a range of over 400 kilometres.

“This provides a unique opportunity to leverage this spare energy capacity to absorb renewable energy generated in the middle of the day and overnight, and potentially even export energy to power homes and support the grid in the future using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers,” he said in a statement.  

The project aims to recruit 500 Tesla owners and will use their information extracted from the Teslascope (with their permission, and with data kept confidential.) Users from Australia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany and the UK will be eligible to apply, and gain a free 12-month subscription to Teslascope for their troubles.

“Electrification of transport has been identified as one of the major pathways for reducing emissions – and by leveraging EV battery spare capacity and using smart charging technology, excess solar could be absorbed by vehicles parked during the day, and potentially discharged to support the grid during the evening using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) infrastructure,” added iMOVE CRC managing director Ian Christensen.

“For smart charging infrastructure to deliver these benefits, EV uptake must be significantly increased, and importantly, EV owners must be willing to use their vehicles as ‘batteries-on-wheels’.”


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