Bidirectional charging is the way forward.
As Audi forges ahead in the EV market with cars such as the e-tron that's quickly becoming a class leader, its gaze is moving towards creating network stability and expansion, as well as lowering electricity costs and increasing its focus on climate protection. The next step in Audi's plan to expand its electric footprint lies in bidirectional charging which involves incorporating electric cars into local grid networks. This is said to offer great advantages, including being able to store excess PV electricity for when it is actually needed.
Audi is looking to make its entire fleet of cars carbon neutral by 2050, and as part of that plan, the German automaker plans to offer 25 EV models by 2025.
So Audi has come up with an idea that sounds very simple but could change the way we think about EVs forever: High voltage batteries in EV cars are charged via wall box units at home, but excess power left over after a drive can be pumped back into the energy grid as a decentralized storage medium.
"Electric mobility is bringing the automotive industry and the energy sector closer together. The battery of an Audi e-tron could supply a single-family home with energy for around one week independently. Looking ahead, we want to make this potential accessible and make the electric car part of the energy transition as an energy storage device on four wheels," says Martin Dehm, technical project manager for bidirectional charging at Audi.
This bidirectional concept has the potential to reduce home electricity costs and increase network stability, which sounds pretty good to us. This system will also help create energy independence in the event of a blackout.
This concept sounds very promising when you consider owners who have varying electricity rates at home: as the rates increase during specific times of the day, the stored energy in the car can be used to significantly reduce costs. When costs reduce during late night and early morning the car can then recharge on a reduced rate. Developers at the Hager group are working with Audi to streamline this process.
"The intelligent charging management manages the optimum use of the battery, thereby maximizing the cost-effectiveness of the overall system. The system is very easy for customers to use - all they have to do is plug in the car, and the rest happens automatically."
The joint research project proves two things: owners of EVs can design their own electric mobility plans in terms of cost and CO2 consumption while at the same time alleviating some of the pressure on local electricity grids. It sounds like a win-win to us.