Featured Image Credit: Tesla
Tesla Energy might finally get a shot at revealing its full potential now that the United Kingdom has greenlit vehicle-to-grid (V2G) trials. Tesla's relationship with the UK has been quite the mystery as of late. A few weeks ago, Tesla applied to be a utility provider in the country. Now, the reason for Tesla's application may have been revealed.
According to The Driven, Western Power Distribution (WPD) and CrowdCharge launched the UK's latest V2G trials. WPD distributes electricity to the Midlands, South Wales, and South West in the United Kingdom, while CrowdCharge is an app that helps EV owners keep track of their power consumption and the price of energy.
WPD and CrowdCharge have partnered with each other for the UK's Electric Nation Vehicle-to-Grid project, which seeks to recruit EV users to help power the electricity network in the Midlands, South Wales, and South West. Currently, WPD and CrowCharge are recruiting Nissan LEAF drivers living in three regions for the project and offering to install smart chargers worth up to £5,500 (~US$7,000) to their homes for free.
Smart Chargers will be able to consume, save, and feed power back into the grid at optimized times, presumably at the best rates for EV drivers. CrowdCharge might help the Nissan EV owners participating in the project keep track of their vehicle-to-grid activity.
Even though the UK's V2G project isn't recruiting Tesla vehicles, there might still be a way for the US EV tech company to be involved in the trials, namely as an energy supplier. Electric Nation explained that the V2G project would be using up to five different energy suppliers during the trials, and each one will be providing their chargers during the trials. As previously mentioned, Tesla has applied to be an energy supplier in the UK and could be involved in the project as one.
Even if Tesla Energy wasn't involved in this particular Vehicle-to-Grid project, there still a good chance that it could enter the fray in the future, especially now that the UK has revealed its willingness to try V2G tech. Recent news about Tesla and the UK could be hinting that the EV automaker already has a similar V2G project in the works in the country.
Shortly after Tesla applied to be a utility provider in the UK leaked, local media reported that the national government was looking for a plot of land to build its next Gigafactory in Europe. The reports were followed by rumors that Elon Musk had visited London.
Tesla hasn't confirmed its Vehicle-to-Grid technology yet. When it is revealed, however, Tesla's V2G tech might be unparalleled in the automotive and energy industry. Plus, Tesla has all the necessary components for vehicle-to-grid implementation.
Elon Musk already confirmed that Tesla's vehicles are capable of bi-directional charging. The company's energy sector also has extensive knowledge of battery storage systems, which cars would essentially be turned into in a V2G project. Tesla Energy also recently released Autobidder, a platform with similar abilities to CrowdCharge and more, as it has already been proven effective and capable in Australia at the Hornsdale Power Reserve.
So whether it's as an energy supplier, automaker, or power-managing platform, Tesla has the capability and technology to enter the vehicle-to-grid race. The only question is: Will Tesla have to do it alone as always? Or will Tesla Energy's potential be recognized?