PORTLAND, Ore. Delaware will become the first state to allow electric car owners to charge at night when electricity is cheap, then sell the stored energy from their vehicle's battery back to the grid during the day at a profit! The University of Delaware invented the enabling vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology which it recently licensed to AutoPort, Inc. (New Castle, Del.)
|Engineer Greg Givens retrofits a car with UD's V2G technology at AutoPort, Inc.|
AutoPort has just retrofitted four test vehicles for the State of Delaware and plans 100 more on the road within 18 months. If testing goes as planned, AutoPort will then begin retrofitting fleets of commercial vehicles in Delaware. Just 60 vehicles charged from the grid at night can supply one megawatt of power back to the grid during the day. The non-exclusive deal also permits the University of Delaware to license other retrofitters to offer services to individuals vehicle owners wishing to cash-in on the V2G technology.
The converted vehicles will make use of an electric drive system, called the eBox, that is manufactured to the V2G specifications by AC Propulsion (San Dimas, Calif.) Initially for the Toyota Scions, the eBox adds the motor and batteries to enable vehicles to operate entirely on electricity from the grid (unlike hybrids that do not charge from the grid). If all goes according to plan, AutoPort will convert existing fleets of Chevy vans using the eBox starting next year.
Last year, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell cleared the way for V2G technology by signing Senate Bill 153, which enables owners of V2G cars to be paid for supplying energy back to into the grid during the day. Another bill is currently before Congress to provide funding to convert Department of Energy and U.S. Postal Service fleets with V2G technology, and to mandate that all new purchases be for V2G-compatible all-electric vehicles.