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Tesla’s million-mile battery and Autobidder software could make vehicle-to-grid technology possible. With vehicle-to-grid capability and Autobidder, Tesla's ultimate goal--which Elon Musk laid out in his Master plan--could be achieved.
Thus far, Tesla Energy and the company’s automotive sector have been tenuously connected. However, the million-mile battery makes vehicle-to-grid (V2G) possible and could change the dynamic between Tesla Energy and its automotive counterpart. As Gali Russell of HyperChange explained in a video, V2G could be a game-changer for Tesla and its consumers. If V2G were used with Autobidder, Tesla's main reason for existing could be within sight.
Tesla’s Million-Mile Battery and Vehicle-To-Grid Technology
Tesla worked closely with Jeff Dahn on the million-mile battery. Dahn supervised the research supporting Tesla’s million-mile battery, which briefly mentions V2G capability.
HyperChange also received more information about Tesla's V2G capability from @frozencanuck, who shared a snippet from one of Jeff Dahn’s lectures--seen below.
For all those who are eagerly waiting for #BatteryDay, Jeff Dahn gave a sneak peek a few months ago when he presented at UBC. The pres was uploaded to YouTube but quickly taken down. I managed to get a screen shot. 1M mile battery. Suitable for grid-tied EVs. $TSLA @Gfilche pic.twitter.com/XMGHc69DrQ— Frozen Canuck (@frozencanuck) May 18, 2020
Back in 2018, Elon Musk openly stated that Tesla’s vehicles “had the ability to use the car as a battery outputting power” already, meaning vehicle-to-grid was possible even back then or earlier. HyperChange found a video of former Tesla Chief Technology Officer (CTO) JB Straubel, where he explained that the degradation in batteries are a roadblock for V2G capabilities. At their state then, it appeared that Tesla batteries can't take the constant input and output of energy that would occur with V2G vehicles without risking degradation.
However, as The Limiting Factor explained in a sit-down talk with HyperChange, Maxwell’s Dry Battery Electrode technology could solve this degradation issue. With Jeff Dahn’s million-mile battery research and Maxwell’s tech, Tesla would have the perfect battery in its vehicles for vehicle-to-grid solutions.
Very early on, we had the ability to use the car as a battery outputting power. Maybe worth revisiting that.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 4, 2018
The Duck Curve And Tesla Autobidder
The Duck Curve refers to a graph that depicts the imbalance between renewable energy production and demand for energy. It has shown that solar energy production usually peaks when demand is down; therefore, some of that power goes unused.
However, battery storage units could store the energy gathered and release it when demand is high, supporting the grid much like a peaker plant. This is where Tesla Autobidder comes into play.
Tesla’s Autobidder AI software helps solar producers manage the energy flow between Tesla’s battery storage solutions and the grid. With Tesla’s million-mile battery, the company’s vehicles would essentially turn into battery storage systems, too, with the ability to supply energy to the grid when needed.
The End Of Peaker Plants
According to HyperChange, Autobidder was used in Tesla's virtual power plant (VPPs) in Australia. Tesla’s VPP in Australia, which is only in its initial phases, has already rescued the grid after a coal peaker plant failed to provide backup power.
With its million-mile battery and Autobidder, Tesla’s ecosystem for its Energy department starts to come into full view. V2G-capable Tesla cars would function as battery storage systems while Autobidder manages the flow of energy. The ecosystem would essentially work like a peaker plant.
Economically speaking, solar energy plus battery storage units could be more cost-efficient than peaker plants. Peaker plants tend to be expensive and extremely harmful to the environment. Their one advantage has been that they can run day or night, whereas solar energy solutions can only run throughout during the day. However, coupled with battery storage systems, solar solutions can support the grid at night as well.
The Beginning of Tesla Utility
Then there is Tesla’s potential as a utility provider. It recently applied for an electricity generation license in the UK. Tesla Solar Roof and battery storage solutions could probably already provide enough power for a whole community—i.e., the Hornsdale Power Reserve.
Tesla’s vehicles with V2G capability increases the company’s ability to generate power. With its fleet continuing to grow, Solar Roof V3 installations at a rise, and its battery storage units gaining prominence, there's a very good chance that Tesla’s energy supply could potentially exceed the power generated by traditional sources.
With Autobidder and Tesla's million-mile battery, the company seems to have a strong foundation to build its presence as a utility in the future. If Tesla can succeed as an energy provider, it would be a step closer to achieving the ultimate goal Elon Musk wrote about in his Tesla Master Plan and more.
"This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution," wrote Elon Musk. Autobidder and Tesla's million-mile battery for V2G capability seems perfectly aligned for that outcome.Follow @PurplePanda88
About the Author
Ma. Claribelle Deveza
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.