Electric vehicles continue to improve, but what about infrastructure?
With new EVs hitting the market pretty much every week, a large chunk of the focus has understandably homed in on charging up those vehicles. How quickly can they charge, how far can they drive before replenishing their batteries and how much will it cost to run an EV? One major consideration to consider, though, is the strain those vehicles put on the electrical grid, and three automakers announced a new joint company to develop solutions for vehicle-to-grid improvements called “ChargeScape”.
BMW, Ford and Honda are joining together to “unlock entirely new value that EVs can provide the power grid.” By plugging in your electric car, bi-directional charging can let all these relatively large batteries provide power to homes when they aren’t being used, or store energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. When those sources aren’t generating electricity, EVs can provide power back to the grid to balance out the load.
“We’re counting on this platform to create new value for our customers by connecting EVs to electric utilities, strengthening grid resources and reducing CO2 emissions,” said Honda’s VP of Sustainability and Business Development Jay Joseph. “With automakers accelerating toward the electrified future, we must find solutions like ChargeScape that enable all stakeholders to work together for the good of our customers, society and our industry by enabling greater use of renewable energy for and from mobility.”
On that last part, ChargeScape aims to work with local utilities to enable their vehicles to help balance out spikes in electricity demand that would otherwise require more power generation — possibly from non-renewable sources like oil or coal. However, drivers will still have control over when their vehicles charge or discharge, since they’ll obviously need the electrical energy in the battery to drive where they need to go.
Note: Shout out to Tom Scott, who actually made a video a few years back about grid stability that breaks down the crucial elements involved. Check that out below: