TU WIEN | Matthias Heisler/

Bidirectional Charging - Electric Cars as Batteries

  • News
by Oxana Schmidt

By 2035, every second car on Europe's roads should be electric (Enerdata). This will not only save fossil fuels. It also means enormous potential for the way we use energy. Electric car batteries already have a capacity of between 50 and 80 kWh. A household in Europe consumes around 10 kWh per day. This also offers opportunities for a more sustainable industry in Europe! These changes are coming our way:

Energy efficiency and cost savings:
Industrial companies could use electric vehicles as mobile energy storage units to reduce energy costs. By charging the vehicles in a planned manner and using the energy during peak load times or when tariffs are high, companies could reduce their energy costs.

Emergency power supply:
Where a continuous energy supply is critical, electric cars could serve as an emergency power supply. In the event of a temporary power outage, the energy stored in the vehicle batteries could be used to keep important processes running.

Supporting grid stability:
Bidirectional charging could enable industrial operations to stabilise the local power grid. This is achieved by providing stored energy from the vehicles during periods of high demand.

Carbon reduction:
Utilising electric vehicles for bi-directional charging can help improve a company's carbon footprint. This is not only beneficial from an environmental perspective, but can also facilitate compliance with environmental regulations.

Integration of renewable energies:
Utilising solar energy, wind power and electric vehicles to store surplus energy can ensure a constant energy supply. The integration of photovoltaic systems and a powerful "direct current backbone" at the production site increases the connection capacity for 100% renewable energies and increases energy efficiency through fewer conversion stages. Bidirectional electric vehicles and stationary storage from 2nd-life batteries increase self-consumption of locally generated energy, reduce peak consumption and improve grid-supportive behaviour at the connection point in order to avoid grid bottlenecks and maximise the use of solar energy.

The technology still faces a number of technical and regulatory challenges. The ADC Pilot Factory is researching innovative solutions to improve industrial energy efficiency by developing and implementing DC grids to promote the use of renewable energy. Specifically, the ADC Pilot Factory is working with the company FILL GmbH and the Vienna University of Technology Pilot Factory to develop systems for bidirectional charging in order to utilise electric vehicles as mobile energy storage units in production.

You can find more information about the ADC Pilot Factory project here.