In our modern world, electric vehicles (EVs) are not merely a means of transportation. They are powerful machines that carry a significant source of energy in their batteries. But the question arises: Can we make better use of these “batteries on wheels”? The answer lies in a game-changing technology known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, a concept that is set to revolutionize the use of EVs, turning them into potential revenue-generating assets. In this blog post, we delve into how AI is set to facilitate this transition and create money-making machines out of electric vehicles.
Understanding V2G and Why it Makes Sense
In the pursuit of a net-zero carbon emission scenario, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that the world’s battery storage capacity needs to increase 17 times by 2030 compared to 2020. This doesn’t have to be stationary energy storage; it can be mobile in the form of EVs. The number of EVs is expected to grow exponentially, making them a perfect candidate for this task.
Furthermore, effective energy storage is optimally distributed. As EVs are scattered all over the grid due to their primary function as vehicles, they can help to manage the intermittency of renewable energy, manage demand and supply better, and reduce transmission losses. It’s also a fact that private cars are parked about 95% of the time, meaning that the energy within their batteries remains unused for the majority of the time. By leveraging V2G, we can put this idle energy to use and benefit from it.
The Role of AI in this Transition
So, where does Artificial Intelligence (AI) come into play? AI can help optimise the timing and magnitude of energy transfer between the vehicle and the grid. It can accurately determine when to charge the vehicle, when to retain the charge, and when to give back to the grid. AI’s ability to learn from past data and predict future outcomes can ensure that there is always sufficient charge in the battery for the vehicle’s primary purpose—transportation—while any excess energy is sold back to the grid.
In addition, AI can play a crucial role in battery health and performance monitoring. Predictive maintenance, powered by AI, can ensure the longevity and reliability of batteries, a vital factor considering that the life span of a battery is influenced by its charge level extremes.
For the grid, V2G introduces a new variable to consider alongside other elements such as weather patterns that determine power generation from renewables. AI can predict user consumption patterns, aiding in better management of supply and demand. The evolution from predictable demand patterns to a scenario where consumers become part of the supply mix necessitates the use of AI for predictive analysis and strategic planning.
Beyond Science Fiction: The Reality of V2G
V2G is more than a futuristic concept; it’s rapidly becoming a reality. Regulatory developments, such as a proposed bill in California requiring every EV sold to have V2G capabilities built-in, highlight the growing recognition of this technology. Several automakers, including Nissan, Ford, and Kia, have already introduced EV models capable of bidirectional charging.
Companies like Nissan are partnering with Eon to advance the use of V2G technology. As the production of EVs becomes more streamlined, automakers now have the bandwidth to tackle the engineering challenges of V2G.
Opportunities for Investors
For investors, the advent of V2G and its integration with AI presents a unique opportunity. At WisdomTree, we believe that V2G is an exciting emerging technology within the battery value chain. A diversified approach across the battery value chain could offer exposure to a broad set of opportunities, including incumbent technologies such as lithium-ion battery manufacturing, as well as emerging technologies like V2G.
In conclusion, the future of EVs promises exciting innovations and significant changes in the way we power our vehicles, homes, and lives. As the worlds of EVs, AI, and V2G technology continue to collide, we could soon be turning our vehicles into money-making machines, proving that the future is not just about driving but also earning.
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