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This is an interesting business model for potentially contributing to mitigating the high costs of EV batteries. However, some questions remain, including (1) most fleet vehicles typically operate during the day, when power requirements are highest; hence, it is questionable how much electricity can be stored in these vehicles' batteries. (2) where does the company take the capital from to subsidise the battery costs, at least initially; (3) how about battery life with respect to frequent charging/discharging; (4) it would be interesting to understand the assumptions underlying the cost/profitability estimates.
V2G is not a new concept and has been promoted as a benefit of EVs for some time. The one big problem is how to handle the economics of such a situation. Plugging into the grid for supply is a noble concept but the payback from the power company will be quite low likely. Couple low electricity prices with excess wear on the battery through multiple recharge events and it isn't clear how the owner will actually recuperate costs. Plus, charging the grid also means less range on the vehicle. There are no technical hurdles to overcome with the proposal and it could be tenable if the finances were suitable. There may be different parts of the world, or legislation, that makes the payback possible.
The concept of V2G is appealing and benefits are know, however it is unclear how this particular project would actually contribute to that cause.
Supporting fleet EV purchases through V2G revenues is a novel idea. It seems well supported by data at least for the specific PJM grid.The actual V2G revenues are crucial for the economic model though, and an actual simulation of revenues based on the published prices and the expected availability of the vehicle would be useful rather than relying on average prices.
The proposal is innovative and imaginative. Nonetheless, it is unclear in its basis and, consequently, not particularly persuasive/appealing. Indeed, the main proposal consists in using EV as "small scale power plants" when parked and plugged, through V2G functions. This should help in "improving grid efficiency" and "validating wind and solar energy" but no details are provided on this aspects. For instance: how and to what extent these V2G functions can improve grid efficiency through the reverse use of limited capacity EV batteries? How and to what extent these "small scale power plants" are compatible with electricity demand in time and space in the network? How and to what extent "validating wind and solar energy" is possible/compatible with the availability in time and space of these "small scale power plants"? Considering the well known structural problems of the EV world - which prevented so far their wide diffusion - to what extent this greater "grid efficiency" can be considered a solution for these problems?
V2G is a topic discussed widely in the past decade. The costs of the batteries indicated that the LCOE of the battery kWh is quite high by itself and therefore any proceeds from grid services should substantially exceed this. The authors did not provide any of this type of analysis and I strongly urge them that they do so for this proposal to be stronger. Otherwise, both the idea and the business proposition are workable.
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