Duke Energy starts V2G pilot with Ford pickups in Florida

In the USA, Duke Energy has started a pilot project for the use of bidirectional charging with new Ford F-150 in Florida to support the grid with vehicle-to-grid technology (V2G).

The research and development pilot program aims to test and evaluate the viability of the new Ford F-150 Lightning batteries as a resource that it says could help transform the energy system. Duke Energy will add approximately five Ford F-150 Lightning trucks to its Florida fleet. The electric utility company says it will perform additional testing of the technology focussing on leveraging homes that have solar energy and stationary storage.

The aim of the Duke Energy pilot project is to look at new ways customers in Florida may eventually be able to use bidirectional charging from electric vehicles to power their own homes during outages and to help support the power grid. Here the focus will be real-world use cases with the Ford F-150 Lightning – such as how the vehicle interacts with other customer-owned distributed energy resources like rooftop photovoltaic solar and customer home batteries, how the truck’s battery performs in powering homes during an outage, how the electric pickup trucks will be used to feed the grid during peak times of use, and how these uses might impact the trucks’ batteries over a longer period of time.

“Ford’s electric vehicles are unlocking new possibilities in energy management for our customers, becoming valuable energy storage sources that are changing the game on the benefits an EV can deliver,” said Steven Croley, chief policy officer and general counsel, Ford Motor Company.

Multiple pilot programs have been conducted by other electric utility companys and carmakers – most recently in the USA also with the Ford F-150 in California. The same electric utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has also started a bidirectional charging and grid-stabilizing project with General Motors and several of their electric vehicles.

“The potential is enormous when it comes to emerging vehicle-to-grid technologies,” said Lon Huber, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of pricing and customer solutions.



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