We have just published a new article from the REVS V2G trial about how participants in a field trial – in this case, the fleet, sustainability and asset managers – make sense of and influence technologies when a group comes along wanting to deploy and test them.
We found unexpected effects which revealed insights about what configuration of V2G might be acceptable to fleet end users. If energy market participants want V2G to solve their problems (and make them profit), they need to do the flexibility work.
Vehicle-to-grid is a niche technology that has the potential to benefit electricity markets and support more renewable energy in the grid. However, interest from prospective users in adopting V2G is not well understood, particularly in the context of fleet vehicles. Technology-oriented field trials can contribute to the development of niche technologies. Trials usually focus on making engineered systems work, institutional embedding and testing business models. However, through the participation of users they also provide the opportunity to explore processes of problem definition and the formation of social, ethical and cultural meanings. This article presents findings from the Realising Electric Vehicle-to-grid Services project, an Australian trial of vehicle-to-grid in a government-owned light passenger car fleet, aiming to explore co-productive processes as essential aspects of participatory technology development. Our data comprises interviews with organisational actors responsible for facilitating and mediating the trial, as well as others in similar organisational roles. Adopting ecologies of participation as a framework, it reveals the productive effects of these actors in mediating the local embedding of vehicle-to-grid. These findings challenge the framing of vehicle-to-grid as being a question of consumer acceptance and suggest that, for this promising technology to contribute to a more sustainable future, the electricity sector must accept more risk.
A “provocation” is my new favorite form of publication!
This article in Utility Magazine was a real pleasure to write and condenses many recent discussions.
Our main takeaway is this: “Our experience to date suggests that V2G may stand to be of greatest attraction “for the grid” and that there is much to be done “by the grid” to accelerate this innovation becoming a seamless part of the electric vehicle experience.”
In response to the incredible media interest in our recent paper on electric vehicles in remote Australia – with the second most media stories that the journal Australian Geographer has ever generated in it’s 94 year history – the publishers have lifted the paywall to make the full article available for free until the end of Oct.
I was part of a team of 18 independent experts (academics) who developed a comprehensive framework for decarbonising the Australian transport sector in a manner consistent with international best practice (eg shifting trips to public and active transport) and climate science to keep warming within 1.5d.
In research commissioned by ARENA and the Distributed Energy Integration Program, we’ve analysed the gaps in knowledge and current activities around the integration of electric vehicles (of all sizes) into the electricity system.
The executive summary is below and the full report is available here.
Our recently released Lessons Learnt Report for the REVS V2G project contains lots of honest reflection about working on technology innovation projects – we think many will find it an interesting read.
“The electric vehicle transition is about more than just doing away with vehicles powered by fossil fuels. We must also ensure quality technology and infrastructure, anticipate the future and avoid unwanted outcomes, such as entrenching disadvantage.
Australia’s world-leading rollout of rooftop solar power systems offers a guide to help navigate the transition. We’ve identified three key lessons on what’s gone well, and in hindsight, what could have been done differently.”