Linked Electric Cars Could Save up to 1,000 Euros
The German government would like to see about one million electric cars on German roads by the year 2020. Currently, about 19,000 purely electric cars have been licensed in Germany; by adding hybrid and plug-in drives to these, the figure increases to 126,000 vehicles. It will be a long road to reach one million.
Enhancing Appeal of Electric Cars
The overall cost-effectiveness of electric cars, and hence their appeal, could be considerably improved without state subsidies. “An electric car could save its owner over 1,000 euros per year by using its battery to stabilize the power grid,” explains LichtBlick CEO Heiko von Tschischwitz at the summit talks on e-mobility held in mid-June by Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
Integrating Electric Cars into the Grid
In collaboration with partners, LichtBlick has shown the feasibility of integrating electric vehicles into the power grid via its one-year practical test of ‘SchwarmStrom,’ an electricity-clustering solution. Here, the focus was on providing secondary balancing energy, which helps keep the voltage in power lines at a constant level. The German government declared the test a pilot project for e-mobility.
Energy and Transportation Transitions Can Be Sped Up without Additional Costs
“The German government can substantially accelerate progress in both the energy and transportation transition without incurring additional costs. A minor change to the German Energy Act would allow consumers, the automotive sector and the energy industry to leverage this enormous economic potential,” says von Tschischwitz.
Exemptions for Pumped Storage Should Also Apply to Electric Cars
Energy storage facilities that are exclusively used in the balancing energy market, such as pumped storage, are exempt from grid fees, taxes and charges on electricity. This is because they do not consume the power, but only store it in the interim. In order to make the most of the enormous energy-balancing potential of distributed storage in the future, this exemption must also be applied to electric cars and battery systems that only periodically supply balancing energy.
“The principle is simple: If the battery is stabilizing the grid, it is exempt from grid fees and charges, as is pumped storage. When consumers use the stored power for driving or to power their homes, they naturally pay all additional costs that they normally would,” explains von Tschischwitz. In the digital energy world, this information would be easy to track.
More Electric Cars Will Bring About a Rise in Storage Capacities
Consumers are creating gigantic storage potential with their purchases of electric cars and stationary battery storage systems. A million electric cars could store more surplus wind and sun energy than all of Germany’s pumped storage facilities combined. Since a car is generally parked for about 23 hours per day on average, a portion of its battery could be made available to the grid without compromising convenience for the driver.