Electronics and Semiconductors

First vehicle-to-grid export rate established for EVs

27 October 2022
A Ford Lightning F-150 is connected to a home. Future electric vehicles could be used to help the power grid in California with a new export rate established for V2G by PG&E. Source: Ford Motors

Furthering its testing of using electric vehicles (EVs) to power homes in times when the electricity grid is disrupted, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has received approval to establish what it claims is the nation’s first vehicle to grid (V2G) export rate for EVs.

The move follows pilot projects where PG&E partnered with both Ford Motor Company and General Motors to use their EV trucks to power homes in the event of a natural disaster or when the grid is overloaded.

These programs were aimed for early adopters and how these EVs could interconnect to the electric grid, when necessary, through bidirectional intelligent charging. Ford was already testing its so-called Intelligent Backup Power with the F-150 Lightning pickup working with solar power vendor Sunrun. The system could provide up to 10 days of power for homes, depending on energy use.

Promoting EV adoption

PG&E’s V2G export rate promotes EV adoption by providing upfront incentives to help users offset fleet costs and deliver a solution to export power back to support the grid during peak energy demand periods.

The public utility giant received approval from the vehicle-grid integration council (VGIC), Electrify America LLC and the public Advocates Office at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The export rate is expected to increase participation from V2G school buses and other EVs in response to near-real-time grid conditions and can be paired with stationary energy storage systems.

Proactively preparing

About 420,000 EVs have been sold in PG&E’s service area. With automotive OEMs transitioning to electrified models primarily in the next 10 to 15 years along with California’s own plan to forbid the sale of gasoline engine vehicles in the coming years, this number is expected to growth substantially.

Because so many EVs will likely be on the road soon, large vehicles like school buses and commercial fleets could serve as flexible grid resources to support more efficient energy systems.

“The adoption of the nation’s first V2G export rate aligns with our core focus of proactively preparing the grid, increasing access to EV infrastructure, and supporting EV adoption through rates, rebates, tools, and education,” said Aaron August, PG&E vice president, Utility Partnerships and Innovation.

The V2G plan is part of PG&E’s 2030 target to proactively prepare the grid for 12,000 GWh of EV-related electric load and improve processes to enable EV energization and interconnection.

Intelligent back-up power

Ford’s Intelligent Backup Power, which made its debut on the F-150 Lightning, uses bidirectional power technology from the all-electric truck to provide energy to their homes during an outage due to overuse or natural disaster.

The battery system can store 131 kWh of energy and deliver up to 9.6 kW of power. When plugged into a home grid, the F-150 Lightning automatically turns on when the grid comes down. When power is restored, the system automatically reverts back to utility power.

Based on average home use, an F-150 Lightning battery could power a home for about 10 days in conjunction with a solar power or rationing, Ford said.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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