The number of electric vehicles currently on the streets in the UK could produce enough energy to power more than 300,000 homes, according to new research.
Based on the number of Nissan Leaf electric cars in the UK – 19,000 as of the third quarter of 2017 – vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging could allow consumers to contribute up to 114 megawatts (MW) of power to the grid, according to calculations by one of Britain's top energy challengers, Ovo Energy.
The UK government has put £30m towards developing V2G technology, the use of which is hoped to increase grid flexibility.
By using a two-way charger, electric vehicles can act as battery packs for the grid, helping to balance supply and demand.
V2G charging also helps consumers save or make money by selling energy stored in their electric car back to the grid at peak times. According to research by YouGov that was commissioned by Ovo, 87 per cent of Brits were unaware of this technology.
More than half of UK consumers said they would choose an electric vehicle over a petrol or diesel car if they could save money or make money in the long-term, however.
Ovo Energy is one of the companies working to develop a piece of the electric vehicle puzzle.
“People are clearly keen to start their green journey, but a lack of knowledge means many are unaware of the full benefits of harnessing renewable energy. To inspire people to be part of this solution, they’ll need convincing that this new technology would be a practical addition to their lives as well as safeguarding our environmental future," said Tom Pakenham, director of electric vehicles, at Ovo Energy.