California Considers Bill Mandating V2G Technology for EVs

In California, a measure has been presented that would mandate that all electric vehicles have the capacity to charge in both directions beginning with the model year 2027. The California Senate bill, SB 233, which was introduced by Nancy Skinner, senator of the Oakland area near Tesla’s Fremont plant, has been endorsed by a range of organizations.

The bill does not expressly provide for the definition of bidirectionally capable vehicles, but it calls for a working party to be set up by the California Energy Commission and report on the capabilities of different types of vehicles. This might include the ability for cars to use microgrids, meaning that batteries can be used as a source of electricity generation in an electrical grid, similar to how a household solar system behaves when it generates more energy than a house can use.

Other kinds of bidirectional use for electric vehicles are also available. V2L is the most constrained version and usually has a decreased peak draw rate, and V2H, which can be used by residents to power their houses using their car batteries. Several cars are V2L or V2H capable and are ultimately expected to have V2G capability in the future.

The law aims to assist California’s system in managing peak load difficulties. The California grid is frequently overburdened during the warmest summer months, which are increasing in number as a result of global warming intensifying the heat. Worse still, California uses the most polluting type of electricity — natural gas plants — and these must be used during peak hours to meet the surge in demand.

This problem might be resolved by electric vehicles, which could serve as a distributed grid’s system backups. Owners of electric vehicles might support the grid by receiving rewards for charging their batteries overnight and receiving additional rewards for discharging them during peak demand.

California recently modified its photovoltaic net metered scheme, which is a step toward encouraging storage connected to a grid.

There are currently limited automobile models that can handle V2G — only one of the electric vehicles available at the moment is completely V2G-enabled and comes with a charger that may provide fleets with that capability. The Nissan Leaf, which has been available since 2013, didn’t have this capability until recently. It was only last September, a number of years after its launch and a four-year period after Nissan teamed up with Fermata Energy to provide the charger, that the Leaf finally got one.

The California V2G bill is yet to be passed into law. If this bill is passed, it could set a precedent for other jurisdictions in the country and all EV startups such as Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN) may have to manufacture electric vehicles meeting this requirement in order to be accepted on the market.

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