The upcoming influx of electric vehicles will go one of two ways, according to Tom Gage, CEO of electric car tech maker AC Propulsion and the developer of an early electric sports car that later became the prototype for the Tesla Roadster: “Electric vehicles will be either good for the grid or bad for the grid — there’s no middle ground,” he said today at an event hosted by Agrion in Palo Alto, Calif.
Which way it shakes out, said Gage, will depend on how these cars are integrated onto the grid. One solution often discussed for handling the stress that millions of plug-in vehicles could introduce to the power grid (what Gridpoint’s Senior Director of business development and partnerships Joby Lafky described today as “new spiky load”) is what’s called vehicle to grid, or V2G technology.
The term, as moderator Cuneyt Oge, Director of PRTM put it, today, “is still up for grabs,” referring to two-way flow of electrons between batteries and the grid, or the more literal interpretation of electricity simply flowing from the vehicle to the grid.
Taken literally (flowing in one direction from the vehicle to the grid) V2G represents a misnomer for a comprehensive system for managing that spiky load to match supply and demand, said Gage. He commented today that, “Maybe V2G isn’t the right term in the big picture. What we want to talk about is grid-vehicle integration, or GVI.” In otherwords a two-way flow. He explained that the key is, “not just I have a battery on my car, I’m going to send energy onto the grid. It’s how we control this vast asset of hundreds of millions of cars.”