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Can Electric Cars Help Strengthen Electrical Grids?

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Charging an electric vehicle.

The study found that increasing both charging efficiency and the rate of battery charging are more important than developing lower-price lithium-ion batteries in making Vehicle-to-Grid schemes profitable.

Credit: Getty Images

A computational model developed by researchers at the University of Rochester shows how using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology to store electricity in electric vehicle batteries, selling it back to the utility as needed, can result in local electric grid stability.

Rochester's Heta Gandhi said, "An electric vehicle is already connected to the grid when you use a public charger, or any charger for that matter. If you make [a charger] bidirectional it can also transfer energy from the vehicle to the grid."

The model takes into account historic electricity rates, battery degradation, commuter driving times, distances, and other scenarios.

It was used to develop a cost-benefit analysis for V2G participants in six U.S. cities—Boston, Chicago, Phoenix, New York City, Washington DC, and San Francisco—which found potential annual savings for vehicle owners ranged from $120 to $150.

From University of Rochester NewsCenter
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