Are Electric Vehicles the Future of Energy Storage?

The University of Delaware is testing the use of electric vehicles as energy storage devices, long the dream of the wind, solar, and battery industries. There are both opportunities and challenges with such a system. 

Owners of a Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) Model S or a Ford (NYSE: F  ) Focus Electric could generate income from their vehicles just for use of the battery. In turn, the grid could become more efficient and cost-effective, with EVs to balance out load. 

But would car owners like burning their batteries more quickly? And right now Ford and General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) don't make vehicles that could store much energy and still have enough to drive any reasonable distance. 

For more discussion, check out the following video with Fool contributor Travis Hoium.

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  • Report this Comment On January 01, 2014, at 8:02 PM, MiserblOF wrote:

    I foresee a day when the car plugged into the wall becomes part of the total energy package of the house, depending on your settings, actually providing some of the energy at night when the solar panels are sleeping and taking it back during the day if they have juice to spare. People who don't commute insane distances to work will be using them almost exculsively.

  • Report this Comment On January 01, 2014, at 8:06 PM, MiserblOF wrote:

    The article is assuming that the owners of the vehicles will stay on the grid. With improvements in battery technology and solar panels, it could be a lot of people become free of the grid over time.

  • Report this Comment On January 02, 2014, at 12:37 AM, JouniValkonen wrote:

    It is never going to make sense to feed electricity back to the grid from electric vehicles, because it is always cheaper to install specialized grid storage batteries. Electricity from EV battery costs about 30 to 60 cents per kWh + expensive v2g hardware investment.

    However I presented at Tesla Forum viable solution that makes it possible to use long range Tesla cars as energy storage. And most importantly this method does not burn the battery but it optimizes the longevity of battery by keeping charge level at more optimal range than what is standard charge.

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Travis Hoium

Travis Hoium has been writing for since July 2010 and covers the solar industry, renewable energy, and gaming stocks among other things.

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