August 30, 2023

How Electric Fleets Can Benefit from Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Technology


5 Min. Read

With vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G), EVs can interact with the power grid and become a source of on-demand energy. Users can plug their EV into the grid and discharge the energy stored in the battery. The grid will then distribute the energy to local households and businesses.

For electric fleets, V2G can become a source of value, help offset the cost of fleet electrification, and establish your business as a local electrification and sustainability leader.

In this article, we’ll evaluate the specific benefits of V2G, including generating revenues with demand response programs, turning EVs into mobile energy storage solutions, and supporting sustainability goals.

Revenue Generation Through Demand Response Programs

Utilities are increasingly offering demand response programs to buy back energy stored in the community. This energy supplement helps meet demand when usage levels spike, such as during extreme weather.

This model allows utility providers to meet fluctuating demand without having to expand energy production capabilities or incurring increased costs linked to high production levels.

Participating in Demand Response

Experts believe the total electricity demand in the U.S. will reach 4,000 billion killowatt-hour in 2023. Utility providers are exploring new solutions for meeting this ever-increasing demand, and tapping into local energy reserves is emerging as a cost-effective and efficient approach.

Thanks to bi-directional charging technology, EV batteries can receive and send power to and from the grid. As a fleet manager, you can leverage this technology to join a demand response program and benefit from lower time-of-use rates and earn energy credits by adapting your charging and discharging schedule to the local demand.

Grid Stabilization

Average temperatures continue to climb, contributing to the loss of efficiency of the power grid. Rolling blackouts could affect as many as two-thirds of Americans during the summer of 2023 and this trend will likely continue in future years.

Utilities are increasingly looking into integrating local power storage solutions into the grid to create a stable and resilient infrastructure, including Battery Energy Storage Systems, a market that is now worth $35 billion.

However, EVs are an existing resource utilities can leverage to stabilize the grid with a minimal upfront investment. An EV battery can store 25 to 100 kWh, which is enough to meet the daily energy needs of one to three households. Plugging an entire EV fleet into the local grid could power an entire neighborhood during peak usage hours!

Enhanced Energy Management

Smarter energy management strategies are one of the key fleet management trends for 2023. Leveraging V2G to manage energy usage can considerably reduce costs.

By charging when demand is at its lowest, you can benefit from affordable time-of-use rates and store energy while the grid is operating in an energy-efficient manner.

When demand spikes, you can switch to discharging to earn energy credits when that electricity is worth more. You’ll also help lessen the strain on the local infrastructure.

Utilizing EV Batteries As Energy Storage Solutions

Approaching EVs as an energy resource will help you get more value out of your electric fleet.

Energy Storage Capabilities

In 2023, the global energy production capability from renewable sources will reach 440 gigawatts. This sector is experiencing strong growth, and many businesses are doing their part by adopting solar, wind, or geothermal energy.

However, investing in a renewable energy system often means production exceeds your immediate demand, prompting the need to store the energy for later use. Your EV fleet is a readily available mobile storage solution for this clean energy, and it’s a viable alternative to investing in a BESS if you’re looking for a budget-friendly approach to leveraging renewable energies.

Load Shifting

With a smart charging management strategy in place, you can schedule charging for your fleet when usage and time-of-use rates are low. By shifting the load to a different time of day, you’re saving money and using energy that required fewer resources to produce.

Once your EVs have full batteries, you can operate your fleet as usual and schedule V2G discharging when the demand response program offers advantageous rates.

You can also adapt your charging schedule to coincide with renewable energy production. For instance, if your local utility provider uses solar arrays, mid-day charging means you’ll mostly use clean energy to power your fleet.

Emergency Backup Power

Your EV fleet can make you more resilient. Your EV batteries can turn into an emergency source of power to support mission critical process during an outage.

Plus, EVs are mobile, which means you can easily transport your stored energy and provide emergency backup power to a different business location or even power a public facility during an emergency.

Supporting Corporate Sustainability Goals

Exploring V2G technology can help take your electrification efforts further and support additional sustainability goals for your organization.

Reduced Carbon Emissions

Replacing gas-powered fleet vehicles with EVs significantly cuts carbon emissions, but vehicle-to-grid technology can reduce emissions even further:

  • V2G allows for load shifting. This strategy allows you to primarily charge EVs with electricity produced when demand is low, which means the grid uses less resources.
  • You can also use load shifting to schedule charging based on when your utility provider is likely to rely on clean energy sources.
  • V2G facilitates energy storage if your business is ready to invest in solar panels or another source of renewable energy production.

Energy Efficiency

The energy stored in your EV batteries is available at all times, allowing you to get the most out of this valuable resource and turning fleet downtime into a source of value.

You can use this stored energy to earn credits by discharging it into the grid during peak usage hours, but you can also use vehicle-to-building technology to use EVs to power equipment or even charge another vehicle instead of relying on the grid.

Promoting Sustainability Initiatives

Vehicle-to-Grid technology is relatively new. Positioning yourself as an early adopter will help you develop a reputation as an innovation and sustainability leader.

Using your EV fleet to supplement the grid and provide affordable energy to the community will help shape how local consumers perceive your organization. It could lead to new partnerships with other innovative businesses or even attract talent as more employees look for meaningful careers.

Plus, you can develop a partnership with your local utility provider and help shape future programs and incentives that will encourage more businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

Get More Out of Your Electric Fleet with V2G Technology

Unlock the full potential of your electric fleet by selecting EV models that support bi-directional charging and looking into demand response programs.

With over 269,000 successful charging station installations, Qmerit specializes in helping organizations like yours build performing and energy-efficient charging infrastructures.

We can help you design and implement a charging infrastructure that leverages V2G technology to support your energy management efforts.

Find out more about our fleet electrification solutions by contacting Qmerit today.

Author: Ken Sapp

Ken Sapp

Senior Vice President, Business Development and eMobility