Researchers at Northumbria University have come up with a system that allows electric vehicles (EVs) to store renewable energy when not in use that could then be fed back into the National Grid.Â
According to the researchers, through the Vehicle for Energy Services system, EVs would be charged by renewable energy, such as solar or wind during the day, when sunlight or wind is at its peak.
Then when the EVs are not in use, for example when the owners are at work, this energy could be fed back to the energy grid.
Because this energy would be produced locally and from renewable sources, it will be cleaner in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly cheaper.
According to the researchers, this will help to reduce reliance on energy from the national grid, which may have come from fossil fuels.
Professor Richard Kotter explains: ‘Most vehicles are idle for much of the day, as well as in the evenings and at the weekends.’
‘What we are suggesting is a change in how we think about electric vehicles to make use of them in different ways to add value and reduce costs.’
‘Let’s not look at them as only a form of transportation, but also as a method of short term energy storage, using them to exchange or trade energy where beneficial.’
‘We are proposing that the EV battery could be used in smarter ways, including being charged from renewable energy while the vehicle is not in use, with that surplus energy then used to power other appliances.’
‘This technology is still in the early stages but we know there is an increasing desire to tackle climate change.’
‘Electric vehicles will play a large part in this and so harnessing them to capture locally produced renewable energy could play a huge part in reducing air pollution and climate change.’
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