electric vehicles
Airmen from Los Angeles Air Force Base learn how to use charging equipment for the base's new Electric Vehicle Fleet during a training demo in El Segundo, California, on October 31, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarah Corrice/RELEASED.)

According to a new report by Technavio predicts that the global vehicle grid integration technologies market for 2016-2020 will reach US$ 7.5 billion by 2020.The global technology research and advisory company identified three factors that will drive the global vehicle grid integration technologies market.

These include the ability to meet peak electricity demands, improvements in battery technology and well as the optimisation of intermittent renewable generation.

Vishu Rai, lead research analyst at Technavio for smart grid research said: “The vehicle grid integration technologies market is expected to grow at a significant pace during the forecast period due to the need for reduction in GHG (greenhouse gases) and energy independence, leading to a shift towards efficient electric vehicles (EVs).”

A company release states that electric vehicles have the potential to reduce pollution and the dependency on fossil fuels. It adds that government incentives supporting the establishment of the necessary infrastructure for EVs, has resulted in steady growth in the market.

Electric vehicles have also been pinpointed as a technology that can meet peak hour demand. This is achieved through integrating EVs into the grid, to allow two-way communication between the grid and the vehicles.

Technavio explains that on average, vehicles are idle or parked for 95% of the time which allows for the use of batteries as energy storage for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) supply. This in turn, helps to save the cost of electrical systems by providing regulation services, peak load management, and demand response and spinning reserves.

Rai added: “The benefits of V2G have been illustrated in various demonstrations and pilot projects, leading to an increase in demand for VGI technologies such as bi-directional chargers, power drive systems, and communication systems that enable easy integration to the grid.”

Batteries and RE boosting vehicle-to-grid

[quote] The report notes that the rise in the number of electric vehicles is accelerated by the need for energy independence and government support. [US and UK driving electric vehicle technology forward]

“As adoption of electric vehicles increase, current technologies are being pushed to the limits of their functionalities,” adds the report.

The limitations of the existing technologies are providing the required push for developing newer technologies, and high amount of investments are being made in R&D.”

The advancements in EV technology have also given way to a reduction of battery costs while increasing their energy densities.

“Better energy storage options and easy integration into the grid is driving the need for grid integration technologies,” said Vishu. [Rise of plug-in electric vehicles as grid storage application]

Apart from decreasing battery costs, vehicle-to-grid technology has also been identified as a viable option for the integration of renewable energy, as it evens output power fluctuations. V2G technologies also provide both frequency regulation and peak load balancing of power from renewable resources, apart from facilitating peak load management.

The report concludes:V2G serves as an operating reserve for power from renewable sources. When electricity production from renewable resources is more than the current demand, the excess electricity is used to charge plugged-in vehicles, which also function as distributed storage devices. When the production from such intermittent sources is low, energy trapped in the EV batteries can be used to maintain the supply-demand balance, until additional generating capacity is brought online.”