Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration just got a boost in North Carolina, with utility giant Duke Energy signing a deal with Ford for a pilot that will draw energy from customers leasing their F-150 Lightning electric pickup trucks.
“This gives us an opportunity to test those bi-directional flows out: charging the battery, obviously, and then discharging it back into the grid—testing out all that technology,” said Harry Sideris, Duke’s vice president of customer experience, solution and services.
V2G relies on power flows between electric vehicle chargers and the electricity grid, allowing the grid to draw on car batteries for power during periods of high demand. No start date for the program has yet been set, reports WFAE 90.7.
F-150 drivers can choose to opt in, agreeing to let Duke Energy take power when a truck is plugged in at home. They would need Ford-supplied devices that connect the vehicle batteries to their homes—and to the grid. Participating customers can expect a US$25 discount from Ford on their monthly lease payments. The trial will include 100 vehicles, and Duke says it expects to draw power from the batteries only a few times a month.
There are still a few questions about how the program will be executed, writes WFAE, like whether customers are likely to be connected to charges when energy is most needed, and whether they’ll be comfortable giving Duke control of their chargers. In addition to piloting the technology, the program will also be “testing out the customer behaviors and the communication that it’s going to take… to let them know when we’re going to be using their batteries, when we’re not going to be charging their vehicles, and those type of things,” said Sideris.
The program still needs approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commissions, though WFAE says regulators have green-lighted similar programs initiated by Duke.