Here’s the dream: Millions of EVs plugged into their charging docks, working in concert to relieve stress on the world’s power grids. They reduce charging load or even inject energy back onto the grid. They back up renewables when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. 

That’s the vision for managed charging, or V1G, and vehicle-to-grid, or V2G. There’s also a third technology called vehicle-to-home that allows an EV battery to power a building, just like a home battery. Collectively these technologies are called V2X.

There’s reason to think this V2X dream could become a reality. They’re already happening at small scales. And when they reach larger scales, the cumulative impact could be big. A recent Nature study found that by 2030 the total battery capacity across the world’s mobile batteries could be more than two terawatt hours, climbing to more than 30 terawatt hours by 2050.

But first, these technologies need to overcome some big barriers—costly grid upgrades, degrading batteries, drivers worried about being left without a charge—just to name a few. 

So what will V2X actually look like?

In this episode, Shayle talks to Ty Jagerson, leader of V2X at GM. They cover topics like:

  • The contracts GM is signing with customers to manage their charging
  • Reassuring EV owners that managed charging is not going to leave them without a charge
  • What kind of compensation EV owners could get for V2G and whether the value to companies will be worth the costs
  • The carrots and sticks of V2G: compensation and time-of-use charges
  • Whether V2G will be more valuable for capacity or energy markets
  • Whether V2G will degrade batteries and violate manufacturer warranties

Recommended Resources:

  • Canary Media: Is ​‘vehicle-to-everything’ charging ready for prime time?
  • Union of Concerned Scientists: EVs Can Support Power Grid Reliability and Reduce Costs. Here’s How.
  • Catalyst: Will charging infrastructure be a bottleneck for electric vehicles?

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

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