Published on Monday, 3 August 2015

Forget how you always imagined electric cars. That's how you could summarise the recent article published on The Guardian website (as part of its editorial partnership with Enel), that deals with the evolution of recharge and storage systems that are starting to be installed on electric cars and are set to revolutionise not only e-mobility but also smart cities and how we consume energy from day to day. The key word of this radical change is an acronym: V2G. And the history of its arrival on the large consumer automotive market shows Enel's (noticeable) mark.

Electric cars become 2.0 and energy-consuming vehicles become moving 'batteries' that can store electricity and hook them up to the grid, making their owners energy distributors. This radical change was made possible by the Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) system developed by Nissan and implemented by Endesa, which relied on Enel's significant expertise in e-mobility, recharge infrastructure and storage technologies applied to electric cars.

The official launch of the V2G system, implemented by Endesa and Nissan for the mass market, took place on March 12 in Madrid. But the demonstration of this low-cost system for the large consumer market is the result of years of testing. The first practical demonstration of this technology goes back to 2008, as part of the Smart city Malaga project, while further advances were presented within the context of the ZEM2ALL project in 2012. And along this path of tests and projects, the ecosystem revolving around Enel's e-mobility continues to reveal new frontiers of development, such as recycling electric car batteries as a storage system at a fast-recharge station that was also implemented in Malaga as part of the European project Green eMotion.

The V2G solution involves a bidirectional charger from Endesa and a management system that is compatible with renewable energy generation by means of generation plants that are not connected to the grid, such as solar PV panels and small wind turbines. Thanks to this partnership between Nissan and Endesa, by using these devices, car owners will be able, on one hand, to use the stored electricity at any time, and on the other, to feed it back to the grid, with significant economic returns.

Electric cars become mobile accumulators that can store energy when it's cheaper and also feed it back to the grid or directly to our homes when it's needed or when energy costs are higher. With the V2G system, cars are no longer just a means of transport but energy carriers, not only machines that draw energy by means of smart technologies and infrastructure but also integral elements within smart grids, stabilising energy flows and actively participating in distributed generation.