The U.S. Department of Energy's memorandum of understanding is set to expire in two years, but...

The U.S. Department of Energy's memorandum of understanding is set to expire in two years, but could be renewed by the signatories.

Image: U.S. Department of Energy

Nuvve Holding Corp., First Student, and Lion Electric are among the signatories on a memorandum of understanding for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology infrastructure announced by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The agreement combines resources from DOE, DOE national labs, state and local governments, utilities, and private entities to evaluate technical and economic feasibility to integrate bidirectional charging into the nation’s energy infrastructure – including cybersecurity advancements.

According to a news release, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that 130 million electric vehicles – including school buses – will be on the road globally by 2030.

Power to the Grid

“As the number of EVs grows and especially as larger trucks and buses electrify with larger batteries, there will be opportunities to use those batteries to also support the grid,” the release stated.

Bidirectional plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) could help the country’s energy security, resilience, economic vitality, and quality of life while supporting the electrical grid. The DOE indicated that a bidirectional EV fleet “could serve as both a sustainable mobility option as well as an energy storage asset that sends power back to everything from critical loads and homes to the grid. A bidirectional fleet could also create new revenue opportunities for EV owners or fleets.”

Dave Turk, deputy energy secretary, said: “The (memorandum of understanding)…represents a collaborative approach to researching and developing novel technologies that will help unify the clean energy and transportation sectors while getting more American consumers into electric vehicles. Integrating charging technology that powers vehicles and simultaneously pushes energy back into the electrical grid is a win-win for the future of clean transportation and our energy resilience overall.”

Attacking Technical Concerns

The DOE also announced it is taking on technical challenges and barriers to the integration of tens of millions of EVs with the electric grid, commonly referred to as Vehicle Grid Integration (VGI) through the EVs@scale lab consortium.

The consortium teams six DOE national laboratories to conduct research and development in the areas of smart-charge management, high-power charging and facilities, dynamic wireless charging, codes and standards, and cyber physical security.

“In addition to addressing the near-term challenges to VGI to benefit all EV stakeholders, the lab consortium will conduct high-risk, high-reward research on the EV charging and grid integration technologies the U.S. will need in the future,” according to the news release.

The collaboration is expected to accelerate and enable bidirectional PEV integration into the electrical grid by identifying and resolving barriers, accelerating commercialization and customer adoption, factoring in security by design, and improving coordination between the electric and automotive sectors through establishing cybersecure bidirectional charging station demonstrations, collecting and analyzing demonstration data, and preparing analyses to evaluate the business case for V2X.

Who’s Participating in the MOU?

Signatories in the V2X MOU include:

  • U.S. Department of Energy’s offices of Vehicle Technologies, Electricity, Technology Transitions, and Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response
  • The California Energy Commission
  • The California Public Utilities Commission
  • The City of Lancaster and City of Lancaster Community Choice Aggregator
  • The City of Los Angeles
  • Fermata Energy
  • First Student
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – Chapter 11
  • Lion Electric
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • Lucid Group
  • National Electrical Contractors Association – Los Angeles
  • Nissan
  • Nuvve Holding Corp.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
  • Rhombus
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • San Diego Gas and Electric
  • Southern California Edison
  • Zeem Solutions

Bob Holycross, VP, chief sustainability, environment and safety officer, Ford Motor Company said, "As Ford leads the EV revolution, we’re excited to help our customers unlock the energy potential of their electric vehicles, whether it’s using their F-150 Lightning to power their home in an outage or their E-Transit to run their tools on the job site. We’re proud to be lending our expertise to this partnership and look forward to continuing the conversation with the Department of Energy, California Energy Commission, and others to accelerate the deployment of V2X technology."

"Nuvve is proud to be included in this collaboration with the Department of Energy and other partners to demonstrate the importance of intelligently electrifying vehicles as we transition to a decarbonized world," said Gregory Poilasne, chairman and CEO of Nuvve. "Since our founding, we have been focused on vehicle grid integration technology with a strong focus on bidirectional vehicle charging, and we look forward to showing how Nuvve’s intelligent energy management platform bridges the gap between the energy and transportation sectors."

Kevin L. Matthews, head of electrification for First Student said, "As the largest operator of school buses and leader in yellow bus electrification, we are proud to participate with the U.S. Department of Energy to accelerate the development of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies. We are committed to working with utilities and other stakeholders to create a V2X solution that supports the utility grid and our operations. We believe that school buses are ideally suited to do just that."

The MOU is set to expire in two years, but could be renewed by written consent if the participants want to continue the collaboration.

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