CrowdCharge is delighted to be involved in Project EV-elocity, an innovative research and development project looking at increasing the uptake of Electric Vehicles (EVs) through helping consumers to monetise their investment using Vehicle to Grid innovation. This represents a significant step towards the transition to a low carbon transportation and a smart energy system.

CrowdCharge is a smart, aggregated platform that integrates and optimises smart electric vehicle chargers (including vehicle-to-grid) to help ensure a great experience for EV drivers whilst helping to balance the electricity system.

CrowdCharge (and our sister company and EV leasing specialist DriveElectric) has been working closely with UK electricity networks (Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Western Power Distribution) since 2013 to understand the impacts of EVs on the electricity system, and to implement aggregated smart EV charging solutions to address this. Through EV innovation projects such as My Electric Avenue and Electric Nation (the World’s largest home smart charging trial at the time), the CrowdCharge demand management platform was developed.

By using smarter charging, thousands of EV users joining together can have a positive impact on the UK’s electricity grid, shifting charging from peak times, using more renewable energy, supporting faster uptake of EVs, and helping to save money on upgrading local electricity networks.

Vehicle to Grid charging is seen as important to achieve Net Zero

CrowdCharge already has extensive experience of smart (V1G) and V2G charging (this includes four V2G projects to date). Vehicle to Grid (V2G) is anticipated to play a huge part in the future balancing of the grid electricity networks as well as National Grid, as we see the future EV electrification continue to rise.  For the end user, V2G has the opportunity to generate revenue for EV owners by selling energy back to the grid at times of peak demand.

CrowdCharge will be installing Enovates V2G chargers & Nichicon V2G chargers on Project EV-elocity (pictured above)

Smart charging VS. Vehicle to Grid

CrowdCharge has found that the ideal is to charge an EV for a small period every night – in a time window of around four hours when electricity is cheapest and greenest. One hour of charging per night would allow ~8,000 miles of EV driving per year. But we need to charge EVs at different times to avoid creating a new peak in the middle of the night. And we should also use electricity when renewables such as wind farms are generating – so the energy isn’t lost.

By 2050, up to 45% of households will actively provide Vehicle to Grid (V2G) services, according to National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios, published in July 2020.

The rapid growth in the numbers of electric vehicles on our roads will mean more demand on local electricity networks if EVs are all plugged in at the same time, such as during the peak between 5pm and 7pm in the evening. Smart charging, or ‘V1G’, which allows management of the time when EV charging occurs – as trialled by the original Electric Nation project – will help to avoid this situation.

V2G charging will be more effective than smart charging. This is due to the ability to link EVs together and put significant levels of energy back into the grid at peak times, like a huge decentralised power station. V2G will therefore help to reduce the grid’s need for additional energy generation, typically supplied by fossil fuels at peak times, as well as reducing demand on electricity networks, and allowing EV drivers to use greener and cheaper electricity. Electric Nation asked a range of experts for their views about the future of V2G charging which can be read in full here.

The CrowdCharge platform has been specifically designed and is continually being developed to aid the consumption of this cheaper and greener electricity to benefit EV drivers, while at the same time reducing the impact from EV charging on their pockets, the environment, and the electricity grid – in the UK and globally.

About the founder

Mike Potter, CEO and founder of CrowdCharge – as well as Managing Director and founder of DriveElectric, is a thought-leader and innovator, always exploring new and pioneering ways to support the UK’s transition to Ultra-Low Carbon Transport.

Mike has over 25 years’ experience in the fleet management and vehicle leasing industry, a passion for EV technology, and has been involved in pioneering research projects to investigate the effects of mass EV charging on the energy supply infrastructure.

Mike now seeks innovation in the electric vehicle charging and energy demand management sector, focusing on cloud-based vehicle to grid smart-charging technologies. Millions of vehicle batteries will be made in the coming years and it is Mike’s goal to see that these valuable assets are utilised to their full potential for the benefit of the people who buy them.

His company DriveElectric (a trading style of Fleetdrive Management Ltd), established in 1994, has been delivering specialist services for the EV and plug-in market since 2009, including EV leasing, vehicle trials and driver engagement. They have delivered more than 5,000 plug-in vehicles to corporate fleets and individuals.

The concept for his company CrowdCharge came about due to the needs of the sister company DriveElectric. It was realised there were some major challenges with the energy system, and ensuring customers could always charge their cars as the numbers of EVs are due to rise was important. CrowdCharge is now working across sectors to deliver a solution that can help us achieve wider EV adoption.

His company CrowdCharge already has extensive experience of smart V1G and V2G charging. It introduced the world’s first single phase V2G unit, with over 5,000 units being sold. CrowdCharge looks to incorporate sophisticated technology and real-world driver experience, and has developed a digital platform to manage multiple electric vehicle chargers to provide EV owners with cheaper and greener electricity, while at the same time reducing the impact from EV charging on the electricity grid – in the UK and globally.

For more infoMore CrowdCharge projects

The Project EV-elocity is part of the Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) competition, funded by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), in partnership with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

In January 2018, OLEV and BEIS announced that 21 projects (8 feasibility studies, 5 collaborative research and development projects, and 8 real-world v2g trial projects) were to receive funding of £30m to develop the business proposition and the core technology to support Vehicle 2 Grid deployment in the UK, including its demonstration with large scale trials.

The projects involve more than 50 industrial partners and research organisations from both the Energy and Automotive sector, marking the largest and most diverse activities on V2G in the world, and trialling more than 1,000 vehicles and V2G charger units across UK.

The V2G projects represent a significant step towards the transition to a low carbon transportation and a smart energy system. Allowing EVs to return energy to the Power Grid when parked and plugged for charging, will increase Grid resilience, allow for better exploitation of renewable sources and lower the cost of ownership for EV owners, leading to new business opportunities and clear advantages for EV users and energy consumers.