Why electric vehicles could kill the market for household batteries | RenewEconomy

Why electric vehicles could kill the market for household batteries

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jet Charge founder says electric cars will be an energy asset first, and a mobility asset second, and will largely displace residential storage.

Source: Jetcharge
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The head of the biggest installer of electric vehicle charging equipment in Australia predicts that EVs will ultimately displace residential battery storage, and become a key asset for the market operator to manage the grid.

Tim Washington, the founder and CEO of Jet Charge, which has installed thousands of charging stations in homes and businesses, and is also involved in the roll out of fast-charging stations, says vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies will likely make home batteries redundant in the long run.

Currently, Australia has seen only one EV that has V2G technology – the new Nissan Leaf – but while the car has just arrived in the country, the V2G part has not yet been rolled out as it is still undergoing testing with Australian networks and the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Still, Washington says the proposed offering from Nissan is significant. Nissan is the first maker of EVs to say that V2G technology will not void the warranty of its car battery, and within 5 years the major plug suppliers will provide V2G technology as standard.

“Bi-directional charging though EVs will spell the end of residential storage as we know it … it will completely displace it,” Washington told the Electric Vehicle Transition conference co-hosted by The Driven and RenewEconomy late last month. (See more stories here).

“By 2024, every (electric) vehicle coming out to the market will be (V2H and V2G) capable. It’s just a question of whether you use it.”

Washington says he has counted up all the various state schemes that encourage and/or subside the installation of home batteries, and expects that to total in the region of 150,000 units by 2024. At around 10kWh per unit (a generous estimate), that equates to around 1.5 gigawatt hours of storage.

Forecasts for EVs, on the other hand, predict around 100,000 vehicles a year being bought by 2024 (possibly more), and with an average battery size of at least 40kWh, that will bring in some 4GWh of storage each year.

And while it may be thought that household batteries might be easier to access, only around one quarter of these are likely to form part of any virtual power plant.

Cars, on the other hand, are not driven 95 per cent of the time, so offer that much time when they could become a grid asset, or soak up excess solar from the house during the day and power it at night, or provide a service if parked at work, or in a supermarket.

“Electricity is just another form of fuel,” Washington said. “Electricity is tied to property, and this is where we see the dynamics shifting of the type of fuel we used and who gets to control that.”

The current view of refuelling is for petrol stations, with limited areas, to get as many cars trough their bowsers as they can. With supermarkets, and other parking areas, however, it is a question of how many cars can be charged, or discharged, at the same time.

And because the major energy utilities are slow to innovate, and have low trust ratings from consumers, this offers a potential for others to innovate and occupy that space – Tesla is an obvious example, but VW has set up its own utility called Elli, and Shell is also looking to move into electricity, and EV charging.

“The answer has to be on how you change the value stack.Home batteries will be mostly used for home storage, but transport and energy can come together and electric cars can be very efficient assets that you can drive on weekend. That shows me who is going to dominate storage and demand response in the grid.”

And, of course, the car will be able to perform the function of the home battery. “Ultimately, the car will become part of the home … (and) it makes sense to me that grid operators will want to take advantage of this. The cars have a battery four to six times bigger than a home battery, and most of the time they are plugged in and no moving.

“Cars will be an energy asset first, a mobility asset second.” Washington said. “That’s why electric cars will change how we view cars. And energy.”



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  1. Jon 6 months ago

    I can see the possibility, I don’t think it will be realised in the mid term future though.

    For it to be realised cars need to be plugged in and charging/discharging at the command of the vehicle owner’s power provider while they’re not being driven.

    The only reason that a car’s owner is going to let their power provider control the charge/discharge of their vehicle is for financial reward.

    For simplistic numbers let’s use 90% effiency on charge and discharge from the EV’s battery so 81% round trip. To break even the power provider needs to pay the owner 123% of the purchase price. To incentivise the EV owner let’s add another 12% and round up to 135%.
    It’s going to be a tough market..

    Household batteries are 100% behind the meter, financially I struggle to get the numbers for them to pay for themselves.
    If/when Time Of Use metering comes in, solar feed in tariffs fall or battery prices drop I think they’ll be a big market in the likes of Aus where there is so much domestic solar.
    In my opinion you don’t need a big home battery to support a car, using a 10kWh powerwall for instance, putting 5kWh in each evening and using the rest in the house would add ~35km each day. If you double up to 20kWh and put 15kWh in the car that’s over 100km a day. You don’t “fill” an EV, you add a bit of charge.

    • Mike Shackleton 6 months ago

      Battery round trip efficiency is over 90%, so you are a fair bit out with your 80% estimate.
      You don’t need to make the car pay for itself with a V2G arrangement, just lessen the cost of ownership a bit, perhaps cover the operating costs like electricity, rego, tolls etc.

      And it’s likely it would only be called in to meet those evening peaks or predicted high spot price events. The spot price can get up to $14000 / MWh – that’s $14 per kWh – if you can take advantage of that for a few kWh here and there you’ll basically be able to cover your charging cost for the whole battery using controlled load or off peak rates.

      It’s going to take a big restructure of the way the grid operates though – individuals will have to be able to sell into the NEM the same way big generators do.

  2. trackdaze 6 months ago

    I can see how the impetus to install a 10kwhr+ home battery would be limited with 2way Ev charging.

    Smaller batteries though come into play whereas before batteries had to be oversized to cover for the occasional usage peaks or low generation periods.

  3. Patrick Comerford 6 months ago

    With all the drama from Standards Australia over home battery storage system installs you can only imagine what they can dream up to protect the vested interests with a potential battery 5/10 times the capacity plus the home connection infrastructure and controls and the potential for poor installation and mis use. Haven’t heard anything further on the Canadian Kona garage explosion and fire. Keeping real quiet about that.

  4. RobertO 6 months ago

    Hi All,

    Misinformation is rife

    (You are a customer, not a wholesaler, never, no way, no hope, do not dream such rubbish!)

    Say I connect up my BEV on a standard 10 amp 240 V stand-alone circuit that is 2.4 kWhr leaving the BEV connect to the switchboard (With the newer model inverter you will connect to that, but it BTM (behind the meter)

    So I turn on my home stove basically two types, single-phase, and 30 amp or two phases at 20 amp your BEV will not cope.

    So why connect your BEV up (middle of winter scenario)?

    From 5 pm to 10 pm you will remove (2.4 kWhr rate), i.e 12 kWhrs from your peak demand. So you have a fridge, a freezer, and an entertainment system and they will use between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am about 6 kWhrs You will decide what suits you and you will tell your inverter what you want to happen.

    If your retailer offers cheap rates between 1 am and 5 am you may decide that for you and you will put 9.6 kWhr in the battery and use the grid to run your normal household.

    If you have access to solar at work (it will be BTM) you will tell your BEV what you need to get to work and the AI in the inverter will detect that change and open up to the grid.

    As solar power becomes the dominant form of power your home solar will become worthless (if your retailer can buy solar or wind for $0.001 per kWhr how can they afford to pay you at all so there will be a very big movement to BTM.

    Another subtle change is AI

    It will prevent exports to the grid if it has an alternative use for the energy.
    Some retailer / Grid operators may even try to shut down home solar, but the movement to BTM is something they cannot control.

    Even your work will be doing this BTM and for them to add staff to the plan is not hard.

  5. Charles 6 months ago

    I’ve never seen a big benefit of V2G. The car and connector needs to support it, and at the moment, it’s only supported by the Leaf, via Chademo. So to start with you need to have a Chademo charging unit at home. No other new BEV uses Chademo. So right off the bat, that limits the potential.

    When you’re on the road, you want to charge as quickly as possible – so that’s not an ideal use case for V2G. It will primarily be an at-base thing (home, or business fleet).

    Yes, EVs will be a bit part of the energy system. This can be done by having your standard AC charger – same as every car uses now – on a controlled load circuit, or at least enabling some sort of smart load management. This doesn’t require an expensive capacity upgrade to the home, and makes access to the system available to all EVs, not just those with specific V2G support. You don’t necessarily need to draw power *out* of a battery – you can just drop the charge rate of power going *in* to a battery. The only downside is that you need many more EVs for this to be feasible – however it’s easy to scale up!

    The exact same technology can apply to other appliances, such as hot water cylinders or pool pumps (in fact in many places, they already do).

    Home batteries aren’t going anywhere (no pun intended) – if you want to store excess generation from solar, a home battery can do that, whereas with an EV you need to be home – which might work for some, but many people are out at that time of day!

    • Chris Drongers 6 months ago

      I suspect you are deliberately not understanding the argument. The envisaged future is one where energy is a service, very like your phone, available from anywhere. A third party will integrate electricity supply to your house, from your rooftop pv, to your car wether it is at home, in the workplace parking lot or at the shopping centre, and from the shop or factory roof to your car or to your house. And then viva versa – from your car to anywhere with the artificial intelligence making sure that your vehicle has enough juice left to carry you home and run the house and others up the street at night.

      And any combination of the above.

      Very soon you will say ‘why shoukd I pay heaps to own a car when for a milage charge I can get an equivalent transport function guaranteed within (say) ten minutes if it is not already sitting in the garage?

  6. Greg Hudson 6 months ago

    “By 2024, every (electric) vehicle coming out to the market will be (V2H and V2G) capable. It’s just a question of whether you use it.”
    Saying ‘every’ vehicle will be V2GH is a bit of a broad statement, and may be just wishful thinking. Tesla for example are in the business of selling PowerWalls and PowerPacks, not just vehicles, so why would they suddenly kill their (extremely profitable) cash cow by allowing vehicles to supply power to homes or grid. It is illogical and somewhat fanciful IMO (unless there has been some Musk tweet I haven’t heard about. Mind you, V2H would probably make my TSLA shares go up (hopefully) 😉

Comments are closed.

Get up to 3 quotes from pre-vetted solar (and battery) installers.