The University of Queensland is conducting the first-ever global study of how electric vehicles can support the uptake of renewable energy and improve the resiliency of power grids.

The vehicle-to-grid study has recruited Tesla owners from around the world through the analytics platform Teslascope.

“We have a unique opportunity through this project to better understand EV driving and charging behaviour in different markets, and what are the opportunities to use EVs to provide energy services and generate extra income for owners in the future,” said Jake Whitehead, an e-mobility research fellow at UQ, noting that most electric vehicles are driven less than 50 km per day but possess driving range of more than 400 km. “This provides a unique opportunity to leverage this spare energy capacity to absorb renewable energy generated in the middle of the day and overnight, and potentially even export energy to power homes and support the grid in the future using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers.”

The study will use the Teslascope platform to collect vehicle usage data from 500 volunteer Tesla owners. In its first phase, the study will pull data from Tesla owners in Australia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, and the UK, organizers said.

While there are questions as to how power grids will cope with the rapid deployment of electric vehicles globally, and the increased demand for electricity, electric vehicles can also provide stability for power girds during peak demand hours.

The U.S. government will provide $209 million in funding for 26 new laboratory electric vehicle battery research projects which will, among other things, study potential grid impacts of electric vehicles.

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