Driving Toward a Resilient Grid:
The Role of EVs in Supporting Power Supply

April 29, 2024

As the transportation sector moves toward electrification, new opportunities are on the horizon. Throughout the development of electric vehicles (EVs) there has been much discussion about the need to upgrade and modernize our power systems to accommodate the increased power draw that mass EV adoption would cause. In more recent years, there has been a new discussion emerging about how EVs could potentially support the grid through a two-way system of communication. 

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology refers to systems that enable EVs to communicate and interact with the power grid. The key feature of V2G is the ability of EVs not only to charge from the grid but also to discharge electricity back into the grid when needed. This bidirectional energy transfer can help in managing the grid's load, enhancing the stability of the power supply, and optimizing the usage of renewable energy sources.

Recently, Foresight Canada’s BC Net Zero Innovation Network (BCNZIN) facilitated the Powering Canada’s Future with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Innovation workshop at GLOBE Forum 2024 in partnership with BC Hydro, TransLink, and Coast to Coast Experiences. This sold-out event aimed to build awareness around the opportunity of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technologies and how stakeholders, such as fleets, and utilities, can benefit British Columbia’s grid as the province aims to build grid capacity and resiliency. 

Our new report, Globe Forum 2024: Powering Canada’s Future with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Innovation, details the challenges and opportunities of deploying V2G, lessons learned from past projects, and what’s needed to accelerate adoption and participation in BC.

Read the Report

Here’s What We Learned

V2G offers a potential solution to utilities like BC Hydro, enabling it to:

  • accumulate additional power 
  • enhance its portfolio 
  • reduce carbon emissions

The world is shifting away from fossil fuels toward EVs, and charging technology has become increasingly refined as that shift accelerates. From unmanaged to managed charging that avoids peak draw times, and unidirectional to bidirectional charging, the infrastructure is evolving and presenting new opportunities. V2G is one of the latest developments intriguing innovators and stakeholders.

Utilities will play a pivotal role in its acceleration by offering technical support, funding initiatives, and incentive structures while focusing on scaling efforts through wholesale market participation and targeting commercial fleets for maximum impact. To scale V2G solutions effectively, key stakeholders must address barriers such as cost-prohibitive metering, developing market frameworks, and establishing coordination protocols between system operators and distribution companies. 

However, there are a number of complexities and opportunities associated with V2G technology, which no one group has all of the answers to, or the means to take advantage of. There is a vital need for collaboration, the establishment of base case standards, and tailored approaches to address challenges and maximize benefits across different contexts. 

For example, V2G initiatives face varying regulatory and market dynamics across different jurisdictions, highlighting the need for tailored approaches. Regional collaboration between stakeholders across these jurisdictions can streamline the process and accelerate deployment significantly.

V2G adoption is a multifaceted process but one with tremendous potential. To accommodate the mass adoption of EVs, we must expand the capacity of our electricity systems, and V2G is a viable solution to create a more resilient grid. Collaboration will be key in addressing technical, regulatory, and coordination challenges while incentivizing participation across the value chain. 

Collaborate With Us to Develop Innovations, Drive Adoption, and Build a Sustainable Future

Curious to learn more about V2G technology? Read the full report: Globe Forum 2024: Powering Canada’s Future with Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Innovation.

If you want to get involved in the transition, join Foresight Canada’s BCNZIN V2X Integration Working Group, composed of key players in the value chain, including OEMs, utilities, technology providers, government, and academia. 

The Working Group will collaborate to: 

  • Develop and Promote V2X Projects in BC and Canada
  • Foster Innovation and new Initiatives
  • Improve grid resiliency
  • Increase awareness among all stakeholders about the opportunities around V2X integration

To learn more, get in touch with Joshua Young, Sr. Manager BC Clean Transportation Ecosystem at Foresight Canada.