Shifting consumer behaviours could pose a barrier to the volume of electric vehicles providing flexibility services through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies, with one EnTech panelist describing the fledgling sector as a “killing field” until volume increases.

Consumers beginning to move away from single ownership of vehicles towards car clubs and increased used of public transport could restrict the volume of flexibility electric vehicles (EVs) can provide the grid through V2G, concluded a panel at Current±’s EnTech conference this week.

Chris Rimmer, infrastructure strategy lead at Cenex, said there is a possibility of an assumption that the removal of one combustion engine vehicle is replaced with an electric vehicle.

“That poses a challenge for V2G because you’re cutting away at the underlying case which is these things need to be parked up and not really moving for good periods of time to leverage the value,” Rimmer continued, adding that many consumers and businesses simply aren’t interested in V2G and many are still at the stage of deciding whether to switch.

However, depot-based fleet vehicles is a different story and there is a lot of potential for fleets to provide V2G services, Matt Allen, CEO of Pivot Power, said.

But whether or not EV charging and in particular V2G is commercially viable and able to make a return is still under debate. A report released in June suggested V2G would soon be economically viable and could save hundreds of millions of pounds in grid costs.

There is “a lot of cash flow in this space”, Simon Daniel, CEO of Moixa, said, and a lot of value if flexibility is managed alongside that.

Karl Anders, CEO of innogy e-mobility UK said:“I don’t think we’re there yet on the business case.”

There is an assumption that as EV uptake increases and infrastructure increases it’s a great cash cow, Anders added, but actually “it’s such a killing field that at the moment its not self-sufficient”.

“We need a lot more volume, we need the costs of equipment coming down and a lot more done on pay per use,” Anders said.

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