Vehicle to Grid Power Using Plug-In Hybrids ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Vehicle to Grid Power Using Plug-In Hybrids

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Vehicle to Grid Power Using Plug-In Hybrids

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) demonstrated a new technology specifically designed for plug-in vehicles. Plug-in vehicles, because of their large capacity batteries, could be used to help store electricity overnight when the demand is lower, then could be used to feed that power back into the grid during high peak hours.

It would work like this. A plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) owner would plug their car in overnight. The battery recharges at low peak usage time, when the rates are lowest. Then the owner gets up, drives to work or a parking garage or even a transit lot.

Once there, the owner plugs the car into a high-tech meter that measure electricity use via remote control. During high peak usage hours in the late afternoon, the power can be taken back into the grid, for which the PHEV owner would be credited. The amount would be limited by the utility company and the meter would match the vehicle to the owners account.

Right now, this is all hypothetical and prototypes since there are no mass produced plug-in hybrids. The charging system, according to PG&E, is not expected until 2012.

The demonstration was given using a modified Toyota Prius, equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack. The car battery was used to light up some lamps and run a space heater.

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