The idea of electric vehicles as a mainstream mode of transportation, for both people and goods, seemed fanciful not that long ago. Now, EV manufacturers are household names and charging stations seem to be popping up like mushrooms in shopping center parking lots and mall garages around the country.
We all know the transition away from fossil fuels is critical to our environment, but EVs can make an important contribution to our energy future through Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology as well. With V2G, various types of electric cars such as battery electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and others can interface with the power grid in order to provide demand response services by delivering two-way electricity exchange. What does that mean for you and me? It means that when city power grids are taxed, especially during the hotter months, EVs can provide additional energy back to the grid, supplying much needed electricity that can power homes and keep grids from failing.
A Pilot Program That Generated Megawatts
Recently, Synop was part of a pilot program in Beverly, MA, along with Highland Electric Fleets, Thomas Built Buses, Proterra, and Rhombus which activated two electric school buses equipped with battery systems to provide more than seven megawatt hours (MWh) of energy to the electric grid. To put that in perspective, seven megawatt hours (MWh) is enough to power the average American home for 8 months or power the average electric car to drive over 25,000 miles!
In total, the initiative generated energy back to the electricity grid for more than 80 hours this summer, providing relief to what can be an otherwise taxed system during some of the hottest summer days when electricity was most in demand.
For our part, Synop provided our end-to-end solution that enables charging management, route planning, and energy monitoring and V2G orchestration to help regulate energy on the grid. At the same time, it also provides new financial opportunities for fleets.
Too Cool for School
With nearly 500,000 U.S. school buses spending most of their time parked, Vehicle-to-Grid initiatives represent an unprecedented opportunity to address energy problems that are already an issue in many areas, and will likely continue to be so as we feel the effects of warmer temperatures due to climate change. This Massachusetts-based V2G collaboration provides a model to scale to additional deployments in Vermont, Maryland, Colorado, California and Virginia. We’re excited about those opportunities to further collaborate with our partners and continue to show real world utilization of V2G technology that can have a significant impact on how energy is deployed and transferred for the good of all.
To learn more about this collaboration and the pilot program, check out this School Bus Fleet Magazine article, and be sure to visit our website for more information on how Synop is leading the V2G charge.