Australia to start paying EV owners for transferring electricity back to the national grid

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Electric vehicles can help keep the air clean in our cities – as we’ve seen recently with the reduction of traffic through COVID-19 lockdowns – but they face two obstacles.

In the short term they’re still expensive. In the long term charging millions of vehicles from the electricity grid presents challenges.

I’m part of a new project, launched today, that tackles both of these obstacles head-on, and it could mean owners earn more money than they’re likely to pay for charging their electric vehicles.

Paid for battery power

The Realizing Electric Vehicle-to-grid Services project (REVS) will see owners paid to plug their electric vehicles into the national electricity grid.

In exchange, the vehicles will allow the national grid operator to draw upon their batteries in the rare moments that the grid is on the brink of a blackout.

The REVS trial project uses vehicles from the ACT government fleet. This is a big step towards making these services available to all Australians because fleets make up more than half of all new car sales in Australia.

To understand the importance of this work we need to imagine electrifying all of Australia’s 19 million vehicles.