Think of it as the end of cars’ slacker days: No more sitting idle for hours in parking lots or garages racking up payments, but instead earning their keep by providing power to the electricity grid.
Scientists at the University of Michigan, using a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), are exploring plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) that not only use grid electricity to meet their power needs, but return it to the grid, earning money for the owner.
“Cars sit most of the time,” said Jeff Stein, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “What if it could work for you while it sits there? If you could use a car for something more than just getting to work or going on a family vacation, it would be a whole different way to think about a vehicle, and a whole different way to think about the power grid, too.”
The concept, called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration, is part of a larger effort to embrace large-scale changes that are needed to improve the sustainability and resilience of the transportation and electric power infrastructures. If V2G integration succeeds, it will enable the grid to utilize PHEV batteries for storing excess renewable energy from wind and the sun, releasing this energy to grid customers when needed, such as during peak hours.
Contact: Sue Nichols, (734) 615-5678 or email@example.com