V2G Trial - Should I stay, Should I go?

  • 17 February 2021
  • 10 replies
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The much-awaited announcement on the V2G trial for me was a fizzle as compared to a blast. The opportunity to create, innovate and progress the V2G trial was rather missed. I am fully supportive and appreciative of the OvO trial however the incentives for the participants appear to be under-represented. If this has to succeed as a sustainable business model, it must work for the customers, Kaluza, Indra and OvO. Let’s look at some of the benefits (for the customer) at the end of the trial:

  1. a free (Not smart if you exit the contract with OvO) charger with ChaDemo cable 

Now given this is trial funded by the UK taxpayers, the cost of the V2G unit is being ignored. That is a whole different discussion on the viability of V2G technology. 

In contrast, most of the trialists would have generated in a range of £150 to £450 per year of additional cash benefit by V2G export. Now to compare the fixed OvO tariff (in my personal case and to use @Transparent term “DNO”) I can easily switch to a cheaper energy provider for a guaranteed savings of £287 per year based on my electricity consumption. So over a period of two years, the net benefit of the smart charger is netted out. A new (smart) charger (maybe with CCS) would cost the same.  I am discounting the impact on the EV battery life (as that’s disputed) and the cost of your asset i.e. Nissan Leaf which enabled this trial in the first place. In my personal case, I also lost the microgeneration export tariff from my 4kV solar panel and the V2G export tariff is lower at 26p/kW.

Regarding my OvO experience, I agreed to switch to the smart meter as part of the trial and was not informed first generation meter will be installed. I am still waiting for my IHD to be delivered 9 months into the trial, follow up last week confirmed I am in the queue. Whilst the V2G unit has worked seamlessly (bar apart two power reset in 9 months) it is now faulty from last 4 weeks and replacement is being arranged 3 weeks from now. This is unfortunate but expected from trial and I am okay with that. Lastly, the unresolved topic of efficiency of the V2G charger. In my post shared earlier data from my charger suggested a heating (or energy) loss of greater than 25%. Now, that immediately (if true) would make the proposition less attractive financially. I never got around to establish the cause but data supported the heating loss. The Kaluza and OvO customer service has been hit and miss, sometimes exceptional and then rather dismal. I had hoped that given a small number of (active) trialist a focus group could have been facilitated by OvO to ensure a transparent discussion could be had. I am sure trialist will understand when it makes no commercial sense to provide alternative solutions.

This forum and enthusiasm of fellow V2G’ers have kept me engaged in this trial, which is a big plus! 

So the big question - Will you stay or will you go?


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I suspect like many I have spoken to it’s a matter of personal circumstance. 
 

with many trialists coming back with fixed energy prices for renewals of a whopping 17.9p per Kw and export rates for solar and V2G capped at 26p many are now looking towards ditching the V2G in favour of a EV specific tariff. 
 

its still a case by case basis but factoring in other issues such as inefficiency’s in the way V2G units run in general along with other similar AC DC converters, battery cycle use and the overall convenience factor, many are now questioning remaining. 
 

for me personally ? Well i have a few month to run yet and it’s still viable but it’s all down to the tariff at renewal and if OVO see sense and allow a flexible tariff or at least access to the OVO drive for the smart + charger so I can switch charging my other EV to home charging rather than surfing at work or at the Tesla Super chargers, at the moment if I had to charge both EVs at home it would cost a fortune I use 15000 KW a year on EV charging that’s a whopping £2200 alone each year if I paid the current tariff increasing to £2600 at the current renewal prices but this could be eased to a more respectable £900 if access to a flexible rate was allowed. And that makes a difference. 

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@sylm_2000wrote:

In my post shared earlier data from my charger suggested a heating (or energy) loss of greater than 25%.

Is there a possibility that you could find the URL for that post and place it here in this Topic please?

I really wish you guys on the V2G Trial also had a private Treehouse discussion group, like we do for Billing/Smart Meters and Home Energy Trials.

I fear that Kaluza is about to lose precious information from sites as you now start departing for tariffs elsewhere.

Userlevel 7

Thanks for posting and outlining your position, @sylm_2000 @D10hul.

 

I’m keen to hear how this compares with other trialists. Both in terms of cost options and preference. 

 

@Jequinlan has also had technical issues with their charger and it needed replacing recently. @Glaikit who originally posted that topic also had similar issues. Has this effected your mindset with regards to what you’ll do after the V2G trial ends? 

 

@IbrahimEV @NeilG @ArundaleP @jp1 @Andras @Mikeyoung @aaronr @Peetee @MrPuds you’ve all been on this platform at one point or another, discovering, discussing and pinpointing the virtues, trials and tribulations of V2G. Where’s your head at?


It’s safe to say I’d feel your absence if you weren’t here when the trial ends… Innovation rightly attracts attention, and is rewarded with consumer support. The question is, what will you support and why…..  

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@Tim_OVO , @Transparent to be clear I am only 10 months into the trial and (for now) remain committed to the duration and hopefully continue to engage via this forum. Like every organisation, I hope OvO and Kaulza take note of the feedback and engage - the outcome is immaterial and should be driven by business priorities.

Agree - a closed group with representation from Kaluza, OvO and trialists would have been better as there is enough enthusiasm to set it up. I assume most of the participants are driven by the impact and feasibility of V2G and (hopefully) less by the cash benefit which is short term. I know where I stand on that! 

OvO and Kaluza rightly deserve the credit due for pioneering this trial in the UK.

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I think the main problem in this project is a lack of transparency and equity. 

You did mention 25% losses, and aligns with my figures. The whole system has a significant standby consumption, in excess of 2kWh/day. I believe that Indra has already created a software update to address this, but OVO has not rolled it out. 

A cynic would say that of course OVO want to sell you more electricity, not less. I don’t think that is a fair statement, but due to the lack of transparency, we cannot actually counter it. 

And as you said, I understand that this is a trial. It is not going to be perfect. Clunky hardware and software are to be expected. But where is the vision? Where is the engagement with the stakeholders? The legacy of this trial is not decided by OVO, but by us, the participants. I hope that I will be able to decide it is worthwhile continuing, but it is far from an obvious decision. 

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Thanks @Tim_OVO, My sentiments pretty much align with others here, it is down to individual circumstances.  For me I’ve been very pleased to be part of the trial, I’ve learned a lot and I think it was an important part of the transition we are all part of.

I think for me the convenience just isn’t there for me to continue, with the losses and the hardware, I think there are better charging solutions available, especially if you have more than one car.  If I ever change car also the VTG charger is going to just become a rather cumbersome wall ornament.

From a purely financial point of view I think I’d be better off with a variable tariff and forget the export, certainly given the extra price I’ll be paying for fuel on the new fix priced Ovo tariff.  I’m assuming my OLEV grant has been spent so will have to factor that in if I want a new charger, but I suspect the cost is going to be lower on a variable tariff.

I really wanted to see how much CO2 we were helping the grid to avoid, but never really got an answer (even an estimate) to that question.  I hope it has made a difference, but would have made me feel more a part of something if we could have seen the impact.  

Not at all fazed by the degradation on my cars batteries, I see no evidence on my own cars  that the VTG system has had any impact at all on battery health.

I have until November so haven’t completely made up my mind.  A power cut proof VTHome option, coupled with a variable tariff would have been a nice option to ponder.   Will probably post some more info once I get close to the end, including battery health stats if anyone is interested. 

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@jp1wrote:

I think I’d be better off with a variable tariff and forget the export

That’s just the sort of feedback which is required here.

Frankly the same could be said of all the Flex Platform Trials, including the two Smart Home ones which are just getting started.

None of them really make sense whilst they’re running on a fixed-rate contract!

The whole point of this technology is that they must be operated on top of a Time Of Use tariff. Only then can Kaluza start to see how we change our electricity usage to fit in with the energy pricing and eco-credentials.

With the V2G Trial a fixed-rate-per-kWh makes even less sense. The only point of having a charger at all is because it offers the ability to run according to preferences which the customer is happy with.

Otherwise, why have any charger?

You could get an electrician to install a 32A exterior socket and charge the car from that when you wanted to!

32A single-phase socket costs about £45

 

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Hi All, I will am repeating what has been said in this chain in that it will really depend upon your circustances.

For me the trial has been trully excellent. I went into this becuase I had recently purchased a Nissan leaf and was also looking at solar. The solar fell through mainly because of council owned trees that would shade my solar too much and their reluctance to do anything, or to allow me to do something, timely about the situation. 

I also had a struggle understanding why Solar installers wanted to sell me a tiny home battery when I had a 40kWh one sitting on my drive. OVO were already my provider and I had a chance to talk with them and Indra at the Fully charged show in 2019. I signed up for the trial as soon as I got back and it was installed in the July so I am coming up to the two years.

There were some teething troubles early on but for the most part I avoided them with only a few days when the charge stopped overnight. For me those failures seemed to coincide with updates to the software. The past year I can only think of one such occasion where my charge had stopped. The charger has even survived several power cuts in the early mornings without leaving my battery low.

On the financial side I don’t really understand the conversation regarding it being more economical to drop V2G and go with other tarrifs and the transmission losses effecting returns, etc. I am probanly missing the point of those conversations. What I will say is that for my own situation its been nothing less than excellent as I have basically had free electricity for my home and car since July 2019 with the V2G payments covering usage and standing charges for my electricity and in the summer also my gas as well.

I know that on the trial that the V2G charger has been free and when looking at this outside the trial you need to look at the purchase cost. Many figures have been banded around but I recall Indra saying the manufacture cost was around £1,500 but retail has been quoted upto £4000. Even using the upper figure this woudl be a payback in under 7 years. Solar was 15 to 20 years so looks like a no brainer for me anyway.

In the next month or so I should get my new car a Nissan Leaf e+ 62kWh and I am very happy to see that OVO is continuing with the V2G.

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What I will say is that for my own situation its been nothing less than excellent as I have basically had free electricity for my home and car since July 2019 with the V2G payments covering usage and standing charges for my electricity and in the summer also my gas as well.

It depends on your usage, and I think that is one of the main complaints. The tariff for your electricity use is obscenely expensive, with about 17p/kWh normal, and an effective peak rate of 34p/kWh. I can get a competing tariff with 5p at night and 13.5p normal. 

As a low user, especially from 16:00 to 19:00, that may not affect you much. But there are people for whom V2G is net loss (except for the free charger), and I think we should appreciate that. 

All we are asking for is a tariff that works for everybody. OVO Drive Anytime for example is a much more equitable tariff. But it is not available for us. 

 
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Hi MrPuds

Thanks for the clarification. As we have all said in this thread it depends upon your own situation. Trials like these are to see what works and what does not. Ultimately the results have to be a win/win for both provider and consumer and not just financial but operational and environmental as well. If your vehicle is never available during peak hours then a V2G system is not going to be suitable and moving off V2G to other tariffs would seem appropriate. 

As with a lot of forum threads it is mainly the folks that have challenges that post. I am assuming that as OVO are keeping the V2G service then there must be many more satisfied trialists and a happy OVO board.

 

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