Government to invest £20 million in vehicle to grid technology

Electric car charging

A £20 million government investment is set to help develop electric vehicles capable of returning electricity to the grid.

The new investment will support vehicle-to-grid projects as part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and create a smarter energy system, while increasing the numbers of electric cars on UK roads.

The projects will investigate technology that allows plug-in electric vehicles to not only draw power from the grid when charging but return it to people’s homes or back to the grid.

There are already 100,000 electric cars and 11,000 charge points as a result of government support.

Minister of state for climate change and industry, Claire Perry said: “The government is a world leader in tackling climate change and we are committed to investing in clean energy innovation to support the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

“Vehicle to grid technology provides another opportunity for the UK to showcase to the world our leading expertise in research and development which is at the heart of our ambitious Industrial Strategy. This competition could unlock significant economic benefits for the UK - helping to create jobs in this burgeoning sector while helping to reduce our emissions.”

The new funding from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) underlines the government’s commitment to innovative technologies. Financial support for energy innovation will double by 2021 and over £600 million is already being invested to accelerate the transition to ultra-low emission vehicles.

The £20 million will be awarded to three types of innovative vehicle to grid projects: feasibility studies – investigating the ways vehicle to grid technology can be used in the future; industrial research or experimental development - for example, to develop vehicle-to-grid charging equipment; and demonstrator trials in the real-world environment - projects that trial vehicle to grid technology in different locations across the country.

The competition process will start in the next few weeks with the aim of winners being notified in December and projects starting in early 2018.

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