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View Full Version : US project seeks to make the family car a cash cow


mscriv
Feb 19, 2010, 12:42 PM
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.

V2G is still a new concept, but it is gaining ground in the United States and Europe.

Full Story (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100219/ts_alt_afp/scienceelectricityenvironmentautomobiletechnology)

Very interesting concept here.

niuniu
Feb 19, 2010, 12:46 PM
That's looks pretty awesome at first glance, hopefully it holds up and turns into something useful :)

Disc Golfer
Feb 19, 2010, 01:17 PM
I saw the thread title and thought, wtf, the family car is already a cash cow. Just not for the families who own one.

snberk103
Feb 19, 2010, 02:48 PM
Great..... Park your car on Friday with a full tank of gas, full battery.... go to work on Monday and find you have to fill up the tank on the way to work. :rolleyes:

hvfsl
Feb 20, 2010, 05:17 PM
Great..... Park your car on Friday with a full tank of gas, full battery.... go to work on Monday and find you have to fill up the tank on the way to work. :rolleyes:
Exactly what I was thinking. Unless your car is able to cheaply (and cleanly) generate it's own power, I don't really see the point.

Skuman
Feb 20, 2010, 11:56 PM
So your car battery acts as a temporary provider of electricity when power spikes occur? What about gas, hydroelectric, nuclear: they all presumably can increase or decrease power quite quickly. The battery efficiency is not 100% so there will be some wastage. Where I live in the evening in winter, hot water cylinders are turned off - this smooths out the 6-9pm peak as people are cooking dinner.

Buzz Bumble
Feb 21, 2010, 12:22 AM
... and the drive now is to produce all electric vehicles to plug into the power grid.

What?!? They've got enough problems trying to get electric cars have a decent range as it is, let alone wasting time trying to get them to have excess energy. This is almost as silly as the fools wanting to put a sound on electric cars (so pedestrians can hear them), but making suggestions like using the sound of cows mooing, birds, and breeze through trees. :rolleyes:

Iscariot
Feb 21, 2010, 07:29 PM
Better solution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRbYkJ6h62A

Buzz Bumble
Feb 22, 2010, 12:17 AM
The best solution would be to wire the wheel your hamsters / mice run in up a generator linked back into the electricity supply the mains supply. That way when they run all day in the wheel they are uploading electricity for you. :)

Even better, get a bigger version and get the kids to run in it during the evenings and school holidays. ;)