Electric vehicles (“EVs”) are poised to overhaul the transportation sector from an industry with one of the highest rates of carbon emissions to one that relies on zero-emission vehicles powered by green, renewable energy. The average electric vehicle runs on electricity and produces zero-emission at the tailpipe, making it the perfect vehicle for a green economy. In a bid to ensure renewable energy generated through wind turbines is not lost to the ether, German automaker Volkswagen is now looking to install vehicle-to-grid (“V2G”) technology in its vehicles.
According to German news agency Handelsblatt, Germany loses as much as 6,500 gigawatt-hours per year, equivalent to 1% of its annual energy consumption. Most of this energy is generated by German turbines in the Baltic and North Seas on windy days; however, because of insufficient power storage capacity, this clean energy is lost. Volkswagen wants to give its EVs the ability to absorb this energy during peak hours, store it and sell it back to the grid to help stabilize the supply of energy from renewable sources such as wind.
Also called bidirectional charging, vehicle-to-X (“V2X”) technology allows electric vehicles to draw in energy and also discharge it. The idea was introduced by Mitsubishi and Nissan in 2013, and more automakers, including Hyundai, have now adapted the technology. Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 models will feature vehicle-to-load (“V2L”) technology that will allow them to power a variety of appliances including portable ovens, fridges, and sound systems. Volkswagen has now upped the ante by giving its vehicles the ability to draw energy that would have otherwise been lost, store it and then sell it back to the grid when supply is low.
With as much as 6,500 gigawatt-hours generated from wind turbines lost per year, Volkswagen posits that 2.7 million EVs equipped with its vehicle-to-grid capabilities would be able to absorb this lost energy, store it and discharge it back to the grid. Thomas Ulbrich, a development board member at Volkswagen, says the German automaker is now running test vehicles and is in the final preparation stages. Once the company is done with testing, it will start installing the V2G technology in every EV built on its modular electrification kit (“MEB”) platform from 2022.
As noted, sister brands such Seat-Cupra, Audi and Skoda that are also built on the second-generation MEB platform will feature the bidirectional charging technology. Volkswagen expects to manufacture around 300,000 units of bidirectional charging EVs at its Zwickau plant in 2022.
With VW’s announcement, it looks like the gauntlet has been thrown, and prospective sector players such as Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), whose upcoming merger with Mullen Technologies Inc. is pending regulatory approval, will have to jump in at the deep end of the pool.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE
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