Not sold on V2G? How about V2B?

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By: SGN Staff

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Vehicle-to-building (V2B) technology may seem a bit pie-in-the-sky at first glance, but according to Pike Research, the concept of using plug-in EVs as storage for commercial and residential buildings is becoming a market reality.

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"With V2B technology installed in the vehicle and at the building, vehicles can compete with traditional local generation, as well as stationary storage, for offsetting demand charges or providing peak shaving services," said Pike research director John Gartner. "While its counterpart, vehicle-to-grid (V2G), requires many vehicles to be aggregated to provide a useful amount of power to support the grid, and is also limited by the extent that grid operators are incentivized to develop the market structures and technologies, even a single PEV can be of value to a commercial or residential building."

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Pike forecasts the V2B market to total $279 million from 2012 through 2020 as the result of investments by battery makers, building owners, car makers and technology providers.

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Making use of that storage capacity can benefit both ends of the equation by offsetting at least some of the higher cost of PEVs by cutting building energy costs and by making reliable emergency backup services available.

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Also, V2B is intended for very different situations and markets than V2G. V2B is not dependent on smart grid investment and is more in demand in locations with less reliable electric grids, Pike's study found. It also suggests that car and truck makers will see the value in V2B in their vehicles to ensure a consistent power supply at their own plants, and that PEV owners could choose to retrofit their cars to participate.

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At this point, countries such as China, India and Japan are expected to have more PEVs involved in V2B.