- V2G bidirectional charging approved for South Australia
- Compatible EV and ~$10,000 V2G inverter required
- Winery owner already profiting from V2G, despite small battery Nissan Leaf
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) bidirectional charging has been approved for South Australians, allowing electric car owners to get paid for feeding and stabilising electricity back into the grid.
The South Australian Power Network (SAPN) has approved a few pilot sites, with customers like winemaker Joseph Evans using V2G to enable his business and home to go off-grid.
V2G allows electric vehicle owners to take advantage of free solar energy generation and charge the car during the day, then essentially use the EV as a home battery storage system by discharging what’s left in the car to power the home or business at night.
If there’s still excess energy available in the EV battery pack, it can be sold back to the electricity grid, then in the morning, the car automatically recharges when the sun is out. This looping process can be monitored and controlled via a mobile app.
Despite the modest 39kWh usable battery pack in Evans’ base Leaf EV, it is more than enough to run his winery business and slash electricity bills to zero in combination with installed solar panels.
“I’ve gone from a $6000 annual power bill to making around $50 per week in profit selling my excess power back to the grid,” Evans said.
“That is more than $2500 in annual profit, from what was once a significant cost. And what’s even better is the fact that, while fuel and electricity prices are only heading in one direction – and that direction is up – my costs are fixed, and fixed at zero.”
Currently, only the Nissan Leaf battery-electric hatchback and Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) SUV are capable of V2G in Australia – both of which use the old Japanese CHAdeMO charging connector.
However, a V2G bidirectional inverter is also required – the only model available in Australia, the Wallbox Quasar, is sold by JetCharge priced at around $10,000. It will open the order books for South Australians in late January.
Evans is one of the first Australians to utilise V2G technology after a trial funded by the Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) fund saw 51 Nissan Leaf’s replace the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) fleet of combustion-engined vehicles and use V2G.
The Volkswagen Group is building V2G hardware in all Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB)-based electric cars like the Cupra Born warm hatch, Volkswagen ID.4 family SUV and ID.Buzz van via the more common Type 2 port.
The Ford F1-50 Lightning electric ute in the US is also V2G capable and Porsche has trialled its sporty Taycan with the German electricity grid.
Most carmakers have committed to offering bidirectional charging – except Tesla.