The long view on electric vehicles is that they can provide unique benefits for the power grid and for drivers if charged and managed in a smart and dynamic way. But for a long time, saying the acronym "V2G" (for "vehicle-to-grid") to a utility or automaker was the equivalent of talking about flying cars.
But it looks like, at least in California, that's starting to change. A couple of weeks ago, the Vehicle Grid Integration Working Group — which includes automakers, utilities, government agencies, nonprofits and tech and infrastructure providers — released a report highlighting hundreds of ways that electric vehicles immediately can provide benefits today to the power grid, to consumers and to companies.
Some of those near-term benefits include lower monthly utility bills for EV-owning residents, ride-hail drivers and companies — a service that could be enabled by offering these groups new favorable rates for charging during certain times of day. When the charging of these electric fleets is managed in a smart way, it also can provide an on-demand energy asset for utilities.