A boom in the number of electric cars on the road may have an added benefit aside from the obvious environmental one. Electric vehicles might one day help provide electrical storage for the nation’s power grid, and make money for their owners while doing it. The concept is called vehicle to grid (V2G), and it’s based on getting cars to act as a decentralized power storage during that 90% of the time that they’re parked.
All owners would have to do is plug the electric car into a special socket, and that would allow electricity to flow both in and out of the car’s batteries. Car owners would essentially be “renting” out space in their cars battery, and would be paid by the electric company for it. That extra money could add up to $300 a month for the owner of a 100% electric vehicle.
Decentralized systems are generally better than centrally planned ones in any endeavor, and an electric grid is no exception. With a large network of batteries spread out around a city, electricity doesn’t have to travel as far to get from one house to the next. Plus, more importantly, it would act as a buffer and smooth out the fluctuations that are common with electrical grids.
Grid operators usually have to pay for more generators than they actually need, to help respond to any sudden fluctuations, with a decentralized system, that wouldn’t be such a problem.
Imagine a future where we all have high-efficiency solar panels on our roofs and our electric cars plugged into the grid, it may result in an electrical grid with no central generators at all. The people consuming the power may BE the grid of generators itself.