SYDNEY: Australia's University of Queensland UQ on Wednesday said that it would recruit Tesla Inc car owners around the world to analyse if the vehicle's spare battery capacity could support the energy grid and even power homes in the future.
The research project will be a world-first trial that will look at how owners of electric vehicles EV currently drive and charge their vehicles, as part of a partnership with the analytics platform Teslascope.
For the first phase of the study, owners of Tesla can apply in Australia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Britain. The programme could be expanded later to include other electric vehicle companies.
With increasing numbers of electric vehicles globally, scientists are looking to find out how the batteries can provide other cleaner energy services besides helping reduce emissions in the transport industry.
Researchers at UQ said that most EVs are driven only one-eighth of its daily driving range of 400 km, giving opportunities to store energy and export power to the grid using vehicle-to- grid V 2 G chargers.
Jake Whitehead, Research Fellow at UQ, told reporters that the study will not only inform EV policy internationally but it will also assess the feasibility of using EVs as batteries-on-wheels.
The V 2 G technology is a connection between the EV and the grid through which power can be flown from the grid to the vehicle and vice versa. It is possible that car owners can sell energy to the network, while utilities could use electric cars as a backstop during peak demand periods.
Australia pledged A $178 million US $132 million to ramp up the roll out of charging stations for electric vehicles, but did not set targets to phase out petrol cars.