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Volkswagen says it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Friday with Ellia Group to explore V2G technology and how it can potentially help stabilize the energy grid while rewarding EV drivers.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has immense potential as more electric vehicles hit the road. EV chargers and the technology behind connectors have evolved as automakers work with tech leaders, charging companies, and utility companies to allow their vehicles to be used for more than zero-emission driving.

For example, Ford, Hyundai, Porsche, Nissan, Tesla, and others have explored how drivers can utilize V2G technology to send energy back from their vehicles to the energy grid.

EV batteries have incredible storage ability, which is a significant advantage as countries move to renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar hold incredible value, but they also come with hurdles.

For one thing, wind and solar cannot be produced on demand, making storage solutions essential. Although the transition will require more transmission capacity, electric vehicles offer a unique solution.

Elia is Belgium’s high voltage transmission operator, maintaining electricity supply and demand. The company believes electric vehicles can be a key asset for balancing the grid, referring to them as “batteries on wheels.”

Volkswagen is joining Elia’s mission as the automaker accelerates its transition to sustainable transportation and explores how V2G technology can help integrate EVs for a superior energy grid.

Volkswagen-V2g-1
Volkswagen V2G promotion Source: V2G UK

Volkswagen, Elia agree on plans to integrate V2G into the grid

Over the next few years, Volkswagen, Elli (VW’s energy and charging division), Elia, and its startup re.alto will explore the benefits of V2G integration and the potential challenges that come along with it.

According to the press release, VW’s new partnership aims to show how electric vehicle drivers “will be able to charge their EVs when there are high amounts of renewable energy” available on the grid and “inject the electricity stored in the EVs back into the grid when it needs it most” with V2G technology.

Elli’s CEO, Elke Temme, talks of the benefits of using bi-directional power, stating:

An essential key to achieving climate neutrality lies in linking of the energy and mobility sectors. Using the electric vehicle battery as a mobile power bank delivers a triple benefit: Firstly, the climate benefits as renewable energy can be stored and therefore be used more efficiently; secondly, the electric grid benefits, as the car can contribute toward grid stability, and thirdly, the customer can earn additional revenue with vehicle-to-grid services. To explore the benefits of this consumer-centric approach, this cooperation with Elia Group is crucial for us.”

The technology, when deployed properly, can benefit all parties involved. With less stress on the energy grid, utility companies can offer lower rates to consumers. On top of this, for sending energy back when it’s needed most, EV drivers can earn incentives.

Volkswagen and its partners will focus on four critical areas that would lead to the successful integration of V2G, including:

  • Price signals (incentives) – Exploring ways to incentivize EV drivers to use their vehicles to store and send energy back to the grid.
  • Market design – Working to remove barriers preventing EV owners from being able to choose their energy supplier.
  • Trusted data – EVs must have some verification process to plug into the grid for security purposes.
  • Secure connectivity – Ensuring the connection is secure and any data transferred is safe.

For V2G to work on a wide scale, Volkswagen and its partners recognize these critical factors must be addressed first.

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Battery powered trailer boost range, efficiency — now for $120,000 less

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Battery powered trailer boost range, efficiency — now for 0,000 less

The RA electric trailer from Range Energy promises to turn your diesel truck into a hybrid or extend the range of your electric semi – and now it qualifies for a $120,000 voucher in California.

California’s Clean Off-Road Equipment (CORE) Voucher Project aims to make it easier for commercial fleets to decarbonize. Last July, Range became the first trailer electrification platform to be accepted into CORE with an $80,000 rebate.

This year, Range Energy bumped its largest battery offering to 300 kWh. The state, in turn, showed its confidence in the electric trailer concept by bumping that rebate a full 50%.

“Becoming eligible for CORE proved that trailers truly matter in the transition to electric, and that CARB recognizes the meaningful impact electric-powered trailers can have on reducing the emissions of the commercial trucking sector,” said Ali Javidan, founder and CEO of Range. “Increasing our trailer platform’s incentive value by $40,000 further solidifies that position and makes Range a realistic near-term solution for fleet owners and operators.”

The company claims the Range Energy electric trailers can double a trucks’ fuel economy and slash its NOx emissions by as much as 67%. When we last covered Range, its electric trailer system had just undergone independent testing that found a 36% real-world improvement on a 25-mile urban/high loop at 60 mph top speeds with a 59,000 lb. gross vehicle weight (well below the 80,000 lb. maximum).

Electrek’s Take

Image via Range Energy.

It’s great to see concepts like this electric trailer come into play with some government dollars behind them. If they work (and if their weight penalties don’t hurt shippers’ profit margins), they’ll make it real easy for truck fleets to dip their toes into the waters of electrification while hydrogen and batteries battle it out for ultimate supremacy.

I’m betting batteries, for what it’s worth – but Range Energy customers will be able to put their electric trailers to work behind either!

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Quick Charge Podcast: February 26, 2024

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Quick Charge Podcast: February 26, 2024

Listen to a recap of the top stories of the day from Electrek. Quick Charge is available now on Apple PodcastsSpotifyTuneIn and our RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

New episodes of Quick Charge are recorded Monday through Thursday and again on Saturday. Subscribe to our podcast in Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast player to guarantee new episodes are delivered as soon as they’re available.

Stories we discuss in this episode (with links):

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You won’t believe who bought almost $1 million worth of Tesla Roadsters

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You won't believe who bought almost  million worth of Tesla Roadsters

In a surprising turn of events, we now learn that billionaire Dan O’Dowd bought the 3 Tesla Roadsters that were lost in a Chinese port for over a decade.

Last year, we reported on a strange story of three brand-new Tesla Roadsters that were found inside a shipping container in China.

It appears that a Chinese company bought the Roadster back in 2011 with the hope of reverse-engineering them. However, the shipment was blocked by customs in China and the vehicles never made it to the company.

Last year, someone finally was able to get them and ship them to the US.

Tesla ever only produced just over 2,000 original Roadsters between 2008 and 2011, making them rare in the first place.

On top of the usual unit you lose to accidents and time, Roadsters had a few bad luck incidents, including losing dozens of units to two separate fires at Gruber Motors, which specializes in fixing first-generation Tesla Roadsters.

It makes the remaining ones more valuable, and ironically, Gruber was leading the auction for the lost Roadsters.

At one point, the company claimed that the three Roadsters together would go for over $1 million.

Almost a year later, we now know who bought them.

Dan of the popular YouTube channel What’s Inside got an exclusive look at the Roadsters – giving us a great look at this little piece of EV history:

Dan revealed Dan O’Dowd, the billionaire founder of Green Hills Software, is the new owner of the Roadster.

To Tesla fans, O’Dowd is better known as the guy running the Dawn Project, which is basically a campaign against Tesla’s Full Self-Driving effort.

It could be surprising, considering how consistently O’Dowd has been attacking Tesla and Elon Musk, but he is apparently a fan of Tesla vehicles other than its Autopilot and FSD Beta, which the Roadster is not equipped with anyway.

He already owns a couple of Roadsters, according to What’s Inside’s video.

Now, if you are familiar with What’s Inside, you know that they tend to cut through things to find out what’s inside them, but obviously, Dan won’t be doing that with these Roadsters. The video is still a great look at what could be some of the best-preserved Roadsters on the planet.

Also, we now learn how much O’Dowd paid for the Roadsters.

Carl Medlock of Medlock and Sons, an independent Tesla repair shop, helped O’Dowd in the purchase and confirmed that the billionaire paid $800,000 for the three Roadsters.

That’s well below the up to $2 million offers that Gruber teased. In fact, Medlock claims that the only other big serious offer was for $500,000.

Regardless, at an average of over $250,000 per Roadster, it makes them some of the most valuable Roadsters to date.

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