Polestar launches pilot project
The Volvo joint venture Polestar is working with various partners to develop and test business models for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies. The partners include the Swedish grid authority Svenska Kraftnät, the local grid operator Göteborg Energi Nät, the regional energy supplier Vattenfall Eldistribution, the provider of charging stations for private households Easee and Chalmers University of Technology. The aim is to find scalable and supra-regional use cases for V2G.
The bidirectional charging technology is a core component of Polestar's approach. It enables the vehicles of the Polestar 3 model not only to absorb energy, but also to release it. This energy can be supplied either to a household or to the power grid. Polestar is developing a virtual power plant (VPP) that connects all participating electric cars to the power grid. This cloud-based system calculates the total capacity of the connected batteries and controls charging or discharging based on grid demand and battery life.
"Vehicle-to-grid has the potential to help not just individuals, but entire communities. The average car is parked 90 percent of the time. With the bidirectional charging capabilities of the Polestar 3 and Polestar VPP, we can explore business models and community solutions that unlock the true potential of V2G. They enable car owners to support the energy transition when they don't need their car to drive," says Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar.
The need for such technologies is reinforced by the electrification of mobility and industry as well as the expansion of renewable energies. As electricity generation from volatile sources such as wind and solar is dependent on the weather, flexible energy storage can help to balance supply and demand and avoid costly investments in grid expansion. Peter Söderström from Vattenfall Eldistribution sees V2G as a way in which electric cars can stabilize the power grid and influence planning for grid operators.
The test phase of the Gothenburg pilot project will start in the first half of 2024 and is expected to last two years. It is set to be one of the largest V2G pilot projects in Europe, involving key representatives from the national and local energy infrastructure. The preliminary study in California is planned for the period from December 2023 to October 2024.