Most vehicles are parked nearly 95 percent of the time. This means that those expensive battery packs in electric vehicles are sitting useless most of the time. Or does it? Why not put battery packs in parked vehicles to work? That's the idea behind Nuvve's V2G (vehicle-to-grid) technology.
The firm's V2G technology is essentially a server that connects electric vehicles to a grid operator. The energy stored within a vehicle's battery is then made available to the grid during a given period of time. Of course, vehicle owners get reimbursed for energy flowing out of their electrifying rides. Nuvve's calculations show that owners of battery-powered autos could pocket up to $10,000 over the life of a vehicle.
Nuvve, a U.S. based company, is in the process of opening a facility in Horsens, Denmark and will soon be ready to test out its V2G technology in the European country. Gregory Poilasne, chief executive officer of Nuvve, says that Denmark was chosen due to its reliance on renewable energy (i.e. wind and solar), which results in significant power fluctuations. As opposed to countries like Sweden and France, where power supply is relatively constant, the Danish grid is often described as dynamic. At the same time, Denmark's grid is connected to much of the rest of Europe, so it's a stepping stone for Nuvve. And the world?
[Source: Invest in Denmark]
Palo Alto, CA -- An Electric Vehicle (EV) is typically parked 95 percent of the time. The most expensive component in the car is the battery, so why not put it to work making EVs not just environmentally but also financially appealing? That's the idea behind Nuvve's new V2G (Vehicle to Grid) technology; a solution having gone through 10 years of development in the US and now ready to be commercially launched in Europe with Denmark as the first test market.
An increasing amount of EVs today come with bidirectional drive trains able to both charge and discharge power into the grid. Nuvve's innovation is a server connecting the EVs to the grid operator, a technology unmatched in the market. The EV owner makes the battery available to Nuvve during a given period and, depending on supply and demand in the grid, the company uses the car as a short time energy storage solution in order to help regulate the power frequency of the grid. The value of providing these regulation services is very high. Nuvve's calculations show their business model compensating each individual EV owner $10,000 over the life of a vehicle depending on market price and owner commitment.
The US company is in the process of opening a headquarter in Horsens, Denmark. Nuvve will start out by hiring eight Danish employees for departments in Horsens and Copenhagen, but is planning to quickly scale up both staffing and the scope of the pilot project targeted to start in September depending on project financing.
CEO of Nuvve, Gregory Poilasne, says that one of the reasons the company chose Denmark is due to the large amount of renewable energy in the Danish grid resulting in significant power fluctuations from sources such as wind.
"As opposed to countries like Sweden and France where the power supply is fairly constant as a result of large nuclear and hydropower production, the dynamic Danish grid is an optimal choice for our technology. We offer the most economic and ecologic solution to support ancillary services and power regulation while generating revenue for EV owners without really impacting their vehicles or driving needs," says the Nuvve CEO, who also stresses Denmark's significant experience with EVs as a deciding factor.
"At the same time, Denmark's grid is closely connected to the rest of Europe, so for us it's also a stepping stone to the neighboring countries such as Germany and the Netherlands."
One of Nuvve's Danish partners is Bright Ignite, a member-based cluster organization actively promoting the Danish EV sector.
"At Bright Ignite, we work to create jobs and growth related to e-mobility. Some of our main tasks are R&D projects aimed at new technologies and the market, says CEO of Bright Ignite, Karsten Lumbye Jensen, who quickly saw a clear match with Nuvve's V2G project.
"We believe the Nuvve solution to hold a large potential, which we would like to examine further. The V2G project gives us an excellent chance to gain experience and learn how to conduct business in an area we see as very valuable to companies, end users and the nation as a whole, says the Bright Ignite CEO adding that the organization already has access to V2G ready EVs for participation in the program.
Bright Ignite is working very closely with Nuvve and is creating a consortium including key partners in order to make this project successful. It will also analyze the V2G technology's behavioral impact on the EV owners participating in the project.
Nuvve was introduced to Denmark and the Danish partners through the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs's "Invest in Denmark" department. Clean Tech Investment Manager Anita Kjøller Nielsen from Invest in Denmark, Silicon Valley, says that Nuvve brings a valuable piece of the smart grid puzzle to the table.
"For a long time, we've been talking about the EV as an integrated, stabilizing factor in the intelligent grid. But the partners that we introduced to Nuvve all but agreed they had not expected this technology to be ready for another 4-5 years. Nuvve launching in Denmark now not only creates jobs, it also helps strengthen Denmark's green technology cluster and its position as one of the leading smart grid nations in the world."
Gregory Poilasne stresses Invest in Denmark's role in the process of the European launch.
"Invest in Denmark immediately understood our solution, how to position it and which key players in Denmark to introduce us to in order to get the project started."
Nuvve and Invest in Denmark both participate in the conference Smart Grid Applied, June 22 – 23 in Silicon Valley, where Gregory Poilasne speaks on a panel with DONG Energy, Danish Technological Institute and Coulomb Technologies on how to intelligently integrate EVs in the grid.
The two day conference is organized by Innovation Center Denmark and Invest in Denmark in Silicon Valley. Smart Grid Applied introduces Danish smart grid technology companies, investors, system integrators, utilities, and researchers to their US counterparts in order to explore new business ventures and collaborations.
Nuvve's V2G solution:
NUVVE provides a full Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) solution including hardware, software, and services for successfully connecting utility infrastructure to electric-drive vehicles. For vehicles equipped with an AC Propulsion or other electric drive train capable of bi-directional power flow, there is no need to change any hardware. At the most, a simple software switch adjustment gives electric vehicle owners the capability to be aggregated by Nuvve right away and bring revenue immediately.
Nuvve's V2G (Vehicle to Grid) solution has been developed over the past 10 years by a team of 15 at the University of Delaware under the supervision of Professor Willett Kempton. He patented the technology and now serves as Nuvve's CTO. The company was awarded an exclusive license to commercialize the solution in the European market. The Danish pilot will consist of 30 V2G compatible cars. The power regulation market is estimated at $6 billion globally expected to double by 2020.
V2G aggregation is not only ideal for ancillary services and demand response, it also promotes the use of renewable energy, boosts energy diversification, and helps reduce greenhouse gases by offering a cost effective storage solution for wind and solar energy production. Nuvve's frequency regulation service only lets small amounts of power flow between the grid and battery and does not deplete or wear out the battery.
EVs with batteries not capable of sending electricity back to the grid, will still be able to participate "one way" by storing electricity and thereby relieve the grid of surplus power when needed. The compensation using this model will be around 25-50 percent compared to participating in the full V2G solution. But obviously, the best value will be generated from EVs already fully compatible with Nuvve's servers.
Examples of cars with bidirectional drive trains: 2012 Mitsubishi MiEV, 2012 Daimler Smart E, BMW Mini E, Detroit Electric e63 and Luxgen 7 MPV and SUV. In 2012, even more V2G capable models are expected on the market.
The V2G solution has three main components:
Vehicle Smart Link (VSL): Is a small Linux computer installed in the EV offering such functionality as communicating with Nuvve's servers and measuring the actual power absorbed or fed back to the grid. The VSL enables the owner to indicate how far he or she wants to drive in the car and during which periods the car can be made available to the grid. The car owner can also download an application for a smart phone or PC and program the car settings remotely.
Electric Vehice Supply Equipment (EVSE): Is simply the charger with a bidirectional capability.
Aggregator: Is a server and a software system located at Nuvve interfacing the EVs in a given area with the Transport System Operator (TSO). In order to participate in the power market, it requires a minimum bid size of a certain amount of megawatt. When the market requests a specific amount of power, Nuvve matches the request with the amount of megawatt available in the batteries of its car fleet and sends the power back into the grid in just a single second.