New InnovateUK Project: Vehicle 2 Grid

Flexible Power Systems and Heriot-Watt University have secured a grant from InnovateUK for a £150,000 project to investigate the feasibility of storing energy in the batteries of electrically powered lorries which during their down-time in depots and distribution centres could supply be used to supply and reinforce the national grid.

Even with subsidies, the take-up of larger electric vehicles has been much slower than that of passenger cars and vans, reflecting the greater technological challenges, lack of supporting infrastructure and initial capital cost.

The commercial advantages of vehicles which could serve a dual purpose as reservoirs of power would act as an inducement to fleet and energy managers to make the necessary investment away from diesel engines with their negative impacts on both air quality and climate change. This is part of a much wider effort to make road freight environmentally sustainable in the longer term, with profound implications not just for vehicle engineering but for the way vehicles are deployed and the way freight itself is handled in future, issues which the project will also explore.