Volvo sets up new unit to tap bi-directional opportunities

GOTHENBURG: Volvo Cars has launched a new business unit called Volvo Cars Energy Solutions, which aims to capitalise on the potential of electric cars to power homes and contribute to the energy grid.

The company plans to offer energy storage and charging-related technologies and services that connect its cars, customers' lives, and the efficient use of energy.

One such technology is bi-directional charging, which allows electric cars to give back excess battery power to the grid, helping to balance the grid during peak hours and reduce the need for fossil-generated electricity.

Volvo's flagship electric SUV, the EX90, will be equipped with the necessary hardware and software for bi-directional charging and direct energy storage from solar.

Volvo is partnering with local grid company Göteborg Energi Nät AB to launch one of the first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) pilot programs here.

The pilot aims to test V2G technologies on the local energy grid and in a home environment with real customers. The program will use a low-cost AC wallbox to accelerate the adoption of the technology.

The goal is to gain acceptance from grid companies and demonstrate the tangible benefits of V2G programs, while also creating a testing arena for new technologies that are crucial to Volvo's future outside of its labs.

Volvo plans to be a fully electric car company by 2030 and expects to bring millions of electric cars to the roads in the coming years. The total battery capacity of its electric fleet is projected to reach around 50 GWh by the mid-decade.

While these cars will consume a significant amount of electricity, Volvo's engineers have found that there is ample spare battery capacity that can be used for other purposes. Bi-directional charging allows customers to repurpose the energy stored in their car's battery at a later stage.

This technology enables energy to be delivered back to the power grid when demand is high, providing compensation to the car owner.

Volvo sees bi-directional charging as part of an energy ecosystem that offers various benefits. Smart charging allows customers to charge their cars at the best available time from a sustainability and economic perspective.

The energy stored in the car's battery can then be used during peak times when prices are higher and the energy mix is less sustainable. This energy ecosystem aims to save customers money, reduce CO2 emissions, and benefit energy firms by reducing grid investments and overall environmental impact.

Volvo Cars Energy Solutions also plans to explore vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-load services, further expanding the possibilities of using electric car batteries for various purposes.

The company expects the new business unit to generate significant revenues from energy-related products and services.
Autos Volvo