Mercedes-Benz is spearheading advanced new technology that allows electric cars to talk directly with the national grid to enable cheaper and more efficient charging of EVs.
Fleet tests of its Smart Fortwo ED and Mercedes A-class E-cell highlighted the need for EVs to be able to talk to the grid to bring down the burden placed on grids by EVs and reduce the electricity bills of users by using power when it is at its cheapest.
Mercedes is now leading a research group that includes representatives from all major German and French manufacturers, Detroit’s Big Three and Toyota to make this vehicle to grid communications interface standard on all future EVs from these companies.
The owner will plug their EV into the grid at their home when it is not in use and, using a Smartphone or iPad app, will inform the grid when they will use their vehicle next.
Instead of the EV charging linearly straight away, it will charge from the grid when the stress on the grid is at its lowest – and energy is at its cheapest – but the grid will also be able to take and buy power back from the EV when it is needed at peak times when the strain on the grid is at its greatest. The vehicle will always be fully charged by the time needs it next.