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OVO Energy launches vehicle-to-grid EV charger

Green energy provider OVO has unveiled its first plug-in Vehicle-to-Grid Charger which is designed to supply energy back to the grid at peak times.

According to OVO, VCharge is the world’s first widely-available, domestic electric vehicle-to-grid charger, designed and manufactured in the UK.

OVO’s vehicle-to-grid charging unit

The charger will help to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and will enable drivers to sell surplus energy from their electric vehicle batteries back to the electricity grid – the company says.

Managing energy demand is thought to be among the biggest challenges involved in the increased take-up of plug-in and low emission vehicles, as this will place increased demand on the energy grid at peak times when more vehicles are plugged in to charge.

By using the Vehicle-to-Grid technology energy providers can incentivise drivers to use the vehicle’s battery to store energy and return it to the grid when demand is greatest.

This could potentially reduce the cost of plug-in vehicle ownership, according to OVO as by using OVO’s new ‘intelligent’ charging tariff VCharge alongside the new charger, drivers will have the option to sell energy back to the grid at peak times.

Smart charger

In addition, OVO is launching a Smart Charger which, like the vehicle-to-grid charger, will enable electric vehicles to be charged during off-peak hours, thereby easing pressure on the electricity grid as well as allowing drivers to take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity.

OVO chief executive and founder Stephen Fitzpatrick said: “Renewable energy and electric vehicles are perfect partners for the 21st Century. Today we’re launching the world’s first widely available vehicle-to-grid charger, helping to solve one of the biggest challenges facing the energy sector. We’re enabling thousands of EV batteries to help balance the grid in times of peak demand, more renewable energy to come onto the system, and households to reduce their electricity bills.

“This is the first step in building the distributed energy system of the future. One that is truly customer centric and built around households and their connected energy storage devices.

“Our completely new approach to energy has been made possible by the convergence of emerging technologies, applying intelligence, and years of working with customers to redesign the entire energy system.”

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