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Joy! Sell Gas Powered Electricity To Grid

From those rigorous minds at the Agence France-Pressee:

US project seeks to make the family car a cash cow

by Karin Zeitvogel Fri Feb 19

SAN DIEGO, California (AFP) – US researchers unveiled a vehicle Thursday that earns money for its driver instead of guzzling it up in gasoline and maintenance costs.

The converted Toyota Scion xB, shown at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science here, is the first electric car to be linked to a power grid and serve as a cash cow.

"This is the first vehicle that’s ever been paid to participate in the grid — the first proof of concept vehicle," Ken Huber, who oversees technological development at wholesale electricity coordinator PJM Interconnection, told AFP.

The presentation of the box-like, unassuming looking Scion was the researchers’ way of introducing the "vehicle-to-grid" (V2G) concept as it begins to gain momentum in the United States and around the world.

V2G projects with hybrid cars that use electricity and gas to store energy in their batteries and feed it back into the power grid are up and running in the United States, and the drive now is to produce all electric vehicles to plug into the power grid.

"This makes the car useful not only when it’s being driven, but also when it’s parked, as long as you remember to plug it in," said Willett Kempton, who is leading a V2G project at the University of Delaware.

A V2G car is connected via an Internet-over-powerline connection that sends a signal from inside the car’s computer to an aggregator’s server.

The aggregator acts as the middleman between the car owner and power grid management companies, which are constantly trying to keep electricity output at a constant level.

When the grid needs more power due to a surge in demand, power companies usually draw from traditional power plants, which in the United States are often coal-fired and leave a large carbon footprint.

When V2G becomes more widespread, the power could be drawn from millions of vehicles plugged into sockets in home garages or from commercial fleets, such as the US Postal Service’s vans, for a much smaller footprint than that of the power plants.

Grid management companies like PJM Interconnection currently pay around 30 dollars an hour when taking power from a car…

Isn’t this electricity that was generated from running a gasoline fueled internal combustion engine? Aren’t we told that cars are worse than even the most dirty coal burning power plants?

So what exactly is being gained here?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, February 21st, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Joy! Sell Gas Powered Electricity To Grid”

  1. proreason says:


    The article implies that either:

    1) “the grid” starts the family car and runs it to get power in periods of peak demand. Here’s hoping that it isn’t in a garage that leaks into the baby’s room. And oh the planet!! My head hurts………..or

    2) “the grid” sucks juice out of the car’s batteries. Here’s hoping you don’t need to drive anywhere the next day.
    And oh the planet when to drive anywhere you have to burn that evil gasoline!!

    So it sounds like this is as much a cash cow as the stimulus is a cash cow. In other words, the “cash” comes from another pocket.

    Michael Mann or Al Gore must have dreamt this up.

    But the looney idea is useful to illustrate the great untold secrets about electic cars……electricy isn’t any more free than gasoline, and energy doesn’t grow on trees.

    • JohnMG says:

      I think. And therefore I am.

      I read this, and therefore I drink. A lot.

      Have these fools discovered perpetual motion?

      Many years ago, upon returning from Viet Nam and being discharged, I could have resumed my college education. I didn’t, because I reasoned that some fool (either student or faculty) would say something inappropriate, and that I’d respond inappropriately by busting his/her friggin’ head, and wind up in jail. I never finished though I’m within about 12 hours of doing so. But……

      As the above article proves, I was spared a fate worse than death. What fate is that, you say? How about stupidity?! Someone should record what these buffoons say and play it back to them–repeatedly. Then, fit them out with one of those sport jackets–you know, the ones with the wrap-around sleeves that tie in the back.

      If these folks are educated, I’m glad I’m not.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I’m afraid I’m going to bust a gut laughing when people actually think they’ll get paid somehow in real, tangible cash, to plug their car into “the grid”.

    Does the new Scion come with a bottle of snake oil?

  3. newrouter says:

    “When the grid needs more power due to a surge in demand, power companies usually draw from traditional power plants, which in the United States are often coal-fired and leave a large carbon footprint. ”

    this is sentence is stuck on stupid. 1 coal stations provide the base load, natural gas peaking stations are fired up for peak loads. 2 a carbon foot print is only important if there is a thing called agw. but now we know that agw was a massive fraud.

  4. jobeth says:

    Yet one more idiotic dream of the progressive left in their effort to control every waking (and now sleeping) moment of our days.

    Control what our kids learn in school…we now have mindless little leftist robots (if the parents don’t intercede)

    Control our money….’Stimulus’

    Control our newspapers and tv news…done.

    Control who lives and dies through health care…still working on it.

    Control the Internet access…working on it. (Obama asking for that.)

    Control of our diets. Thank you Michele.

    And now…control of our travels…by first getting everyone to sell all those old gas fired cars and then selling the masses on the idea they will get rich by allowing the grid to suck the power out of their battery powered electric box on wheels.

    You know the ones, that had to be plugged into the grid in the first place to charge those same batteries. At a higher rate I’ll wager.

    Not only will you not be able to go to buy that loaf of bread, you will also not be able to ‘assemble’ if you can’t drive the 5 miles to the local elementary school where the protest meeting is being held.

    Things are falling apart for Obama…Thank you Lord…
    But some of these cockamamie ideas are still rearing their ugly heads.

    I join the rest of you in asking what these people are using for brains. Is there REALLY a place called OZ? Because these idiots must live there.

  5. “So what exactly is being gained here?”

    Feelings. Nothing more than feelings. Trying to forget my feelings of carbon hypocrisy…

    Come on. Everybody sing!

  6. alexf says:

    The V2G idea sounds nonsensical but it might have some merits under specific power market conditions. It could be seen in the same “category” as the “Demand Response” (DR) technology which is gaining momentum on the today’s US power utilities market.
    Energy that is stored in hybrid vehicle’s batteries is produced by converting from fuel plus storing kinetic energy during breaking. V2G concept might be economical only if the difference in energy costs during system minimum and peak demand would cover V2G costs. For example, for DR technology, utilities sign “interruptible customers” for, say $30/MWhr to be interrupted as needed (say during emergency or peak hours). DR permits utility not to start “non-economical” peak units and generally, build less generation. There’re issues which are unclear to me, specifically how to forecast the amounts of MW that can be obtained from V2G.
    Needless to say, that as a power engineer, I don’t particularly like widespread usage of ideas like DR & V2G but on margin they could be used and be economical, even without artificial GHG accounting tricks…

    • JohnMG says:

      Might be OK as long as the Toyota Prius you’re driving doesn’t accelerate suddenly and careening into an electrical transformer or substation due to brake failure, creating a major power outage and starting fires in the homes of a subdivision, spilling all that carbon and noxious, toxic fumes into the atmosphere. Not to mention the ozone and……blah blah blah……..

      Other than that, it sounds like sound science. Is the debate over?

    • jobeth says:

      VERY good John…very good. lol

    • U NO HOO says:

      Yes as a BSEE-Power Option, never practiced as such, I say: at the margins “all” ideas are great. Why not just use our cars to electrify our own homes? Oh yeah, our cars aren’t home during the day and at night the lights are out.

      But, aren’t most cars parked at night when auxiliary power is not required…ever hear of pumped hydro, Al Gore, Obama, reading this?

      Again, with apologies to Weird Al and UHF, STOOOOPIDDD!

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