A new vehicle-to-grid trial will commence under a partnership between “smart energy” retailer Discover Energy and the Australian Clean Energy Electric Vehicles Group, better known as ACE-EV.
The trial will also involve telecoms giant Optus, power electronics company Watt & Well and Melbourne-based AI Solutions provider SenSen Networks,. It will use ACE-EV vehicles and Discover’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) software to optimise charging times, enabling users to sell excess energy back to the grid at peak prices.
The aim is to develop a product for energy consumers that, once commercially available, will save money for EV drivers as well as stability benefits to the grid.
“As an early pioneer and local leader in VPP, we’ve helped households across Australia harness the potential of their solar and battery systems to say farewell to costly bills and ‘hello’ to a greener, more sustainable future,” Anson Zhang, co-founder and CEO of Discover Energy, said in a statement.
“Our latest collaboration with ACE EV will take this a step further. This V2G solution will financially reward eco-conscious Aussies by allowing them to trade surplus energy back to the grid while their car is parked at home.
“When it comes to sustainable energy, we’re quite literally giving the power back to the people.”
ACE-EV has plans to build a range of lightweight all-electric vehicles including a “Yewt” utility vehicle, a “Cargo” van and an “Urban” passenger vehicle using monocoque carbon-fibre reinforced shells.
In October 2020 it was awarded a $5 million grant through the federal government’s Future Fuels Fund, a $74 million fund introduced to advance hydrogen and EV charging and refuelling infrastructure in Australia.
A partnership secured by ACE-EV with Adelaide-based Aldom Body Builders in 2019 will see 15 vehicle-to-grid capable “Transformer” EVs built later in 2021 under a new business named Aldom Electric Vehicle Manufacturing at the city’s Tonsley Innovation District.
ACE-EV says “these purpose-built vehicles can act as a direct power source for work tools in emergency situations, demonstrating mobile energy management capabilities with grid resilience services and home energy security during power outages.”
“We are on the threshold of a new energy era in Australia. We are exploring how the EV battery can be used to offset everyday energy costs and how the utilisation of this new EV solution can create more reliable access to affordable clean energy,” ACE EV Group managing director Greg McGarvie said in a note by email.
ACE EV will use a portion of the federal grant towards the V2G trial, and a small part of the grant to help establish a new EV manufacturing facility.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.