In yet another innovative first, Vector is introducing a two-way electric vehicle (EV) charger that will transform EVs into mobile power sources for businesses and homes. The news accompanies its confirmation of 4 new Auckland public EV charging locations over the next two months to cater to growing demand
The new vehicle-to-grid (V2G) EV charger will facilitate energy flow both to and from an EV, allowing it to act as a rechargeable energy source. When hooked up to a V2G charger at home or work, charge from an EV can be used as a power boost for the building, as a cheaper power source when electricity prices are at their peak, and will eventually be able to power homes during power outages.
With a Nissan Leaf G2, which has a battery capacity of 30kWh for example, and the average household using about 3kWh an hour, EVs can be a great energy source. Chief Networks Officer, Andre Botha, says the technology trialled on Vector’s nearly 100 per cent EV fleet will soon be offered to New Zealand businesses and households.
“We are totally committed to providing innovative, state-of-the-art energy solutions, investing in public EV infrastructure, and expanding our network to meet the needs of a fast-growing Auckland,” says Mr Botha.
“Vector is giving people new opportunities and choices in how they use and manage their energy needs. V2G technology takes EVs to another level, making them an integral part of the home environment. As well as providing backup power when needed, it gives people greater flexibility and an alternative to using energy from the grid,” he said.
NZ EV registrations up to May 2017
Vector recognises that with ‘time of use’ pricing and energy trading systems on the horizon, the decisions about when a consumer buys energy – and who they choose to buy it from – become much more important. For example, someone with solar panels might charge an EV at home when there is ample sunlight and then use the EV to power their home during peak periods when prices are higher.
“On the network, it will help smooth out the growing impact EVs have on our peak electricity demand. The numbers of EVs registered in NZ continues to grow and when all of them are plugging in at the same time after work to charge, it presents an interesting challenge which we have turned into an opportunity.
“With V2G technology, many homes could be powered by their EVs at peak time. Similarly, EVs will be releasing energy back to the grid to support grid demand while taking advantage of a higher peak energy buyback rate.
“When you add solar and battery systems into the mix, along with emerging home energy management systems, you’ve got a truly smart energy home. It’s part of the new energy future we’ve been driving that gives people more choice, control and affordability than ever before,” Mr Botha said.
Vector has confirmed 7 new EV chargers in 4 Auckland locations over the next two months with more to come. The new locations are Kumeu New World, BP Warkworth, Auckland Hospital, and Constellation Drive McDonalds. More information on Vector's EV charging network is available here