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.