FCA Starts V2G Program for its BEVs

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has torn a page out of Nissan’s BEV strategy book by starting tests of its own vehicle-to-grid program.

It has teamed up with French energy company Engie Eps to to jointly experiment with interactions between electric cars and the power grid, based on a ‘smart’ charging infrastructure. At present the pair are preparing post-virus safety standards so that work can begin at the FCA plant in Mirafiori, Turin, on the first phase of the V2G pilot project. Once fully completed, it will claim to be the largest plant of its kind in the world.

The construction site for the project is now open at the Drosso logistics center, within the Mirafiori complex project which will see the installation of 32 V2G columns capable of connecting 64 electric vehicles and is scheduled for completion in July. By the end of 2021, the infrastructure will be extended to interconnect up to 700 electric vehicles, capable of providing ultrafast grid services to the transmission network operator, as well as recharging the vehicles themselves.

FCA boasts that the project will be capable of supplying up to 25MW of regulatory capacity, making it the largest V2G facility ever built in the world. In addition, by aggregating with other energy assets at Mirafiori, including 5MW of solar panel capacity, this V2G infrastructure could become a ‘virtual’ power plant. Ultimately, it could have the supply capability of 8,500 homes and a wide range of services to the network operator, including ultrafast frequency regulation.

Similar to previous schemes run by Nissan in Europe, the initiative is aimed at two-way interaction between BEVs and the power grid. In addition to recharging the cars, the project will use their batteries to provide grid stabilization services. It recognizes the need for balancing real-time resources in the power grid which is expected to increase considerably in the future.

Roberto Di Stefano, head of EMEA e-Mobility at FCA, said: “The project is acting as our laboratory to experiment on and develop an offering to add value in the energy markets. On average, cars remain unused for 80% to 90% of the day. During this long period, if connected to the grid by V2G technology, customers can therefore receive money or free energy in exchange for the balancing service offered, without compromising their mobility needs in any way.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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