A new project has been launched to discover whether gamification could help electric vehicle owners boost the UK’s smart energy grid.
The new £400,000 trial has been backed by government funding, and brings together Ecotricity, Newcastle University, Northern Powergrid, GenGame, and EnAppSys, to test whether functions such as virtual currency, competitions, and raffles can encourage EV owners to use Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology.
With more than 150,000 electric vehicles on UK roads, and that number growing all the time, EV charging has the potential to place a large strain on the National Grid. Thankfully though, EVs have the potential to solve a problem they may create.
By using V2G technology. EVs can be charged during off-peak times – when strain on the grid and electricity costs are lowest – and then feed back into the grid or homes at peak demand. Not many EVs on the UK’s roads are able to feed back energy as well as draw it, but the number is increasing with new EVs launched – such as the new Nissan Leaf.
The project looks to analyse behaviours to overcome the challenge of getting EV drivers to engage with V2G, focusing on mobile phone applications and gamification.
Backed by almost £300,000 of Innovate UK government funding, the rest of the costs have been covered by the organisations involved.
Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, said: “Electric vehicles have been central to our view of the future for the last decade, not just for their potential to clean up the air we breathe but also for their potential role in the Smart Grid that we need to build to deliver an energy future that is affordable and clean.
“Technology is at the heart of delivering this but it has to engage energy users. This study will help us better understand the relationship between people and technology.”
Find out more about EV charging here