Scientists are searching for ways to use batteries to provide additional cleaner energy services besides helping to reduce emissions in the transportation industry, as the number of electric vehicles on the road grows across the world.
The University of Queensland in Australia announced on Wednesday that it will recruit Tesla Inc car owners from all around the world to see if the vehicle’s spare battery capacity can help the energy grid and even power homes in the future, reported Reuters.
For the research initiative, the university has joined with analytics platform Teslascope, which it claims will be a world-first experiment that will examine how electric vehicle (EV) owners now drive and charge their vehicles. Tesla owners in Australia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom can apply for the study’s initial phase. Later on, the initiative could be expanded to include more electric vehicle manufacturers.
Most electric vehicles are only driven one-eighth of their daily driving range of 400 km (249 miles), according to University of Queensland researchers, allowing chances to store energy and export electricity to the grid via vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers.
V2G technology is a link between an electric vehicle and the power grid, allowing power to flow from the grid to the car and vice versa. As a result, car owners may be able to sell energy to the grid, while utilities may be able to employ electric cars as a backup during peak demand periods.
The research, which seeks to recruit 500 Tesla owners at first, will collect usage statistics via the vehicle’s software interface in exchange for a year’s free premium access to Teslascope. “The study will not only serve to inform EV policy internationally but will also assess the viability of employing EVs as batteries-on-wheels,” said Jake Whitehead, a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland.
Last week, Australia announced A$178 million ($132 million) to accelerate the implementation of electric vehicle charging stations but did not set any objectives for phasing out gasoline automobiles.