A proposal from researchers at Northumbria University has highlighted the possibility of electric vehicles storing renewable energy when not in use, which can then be put back into the National Grid for other purposes.
The researchers trust that through the Vehicle for Energy Services system, electric vehicles would be charged by wind or solar power.
According to Professor Richard Kotter: "We are proposing that the EV battery could be used in smarter ways, including being charged from renewable energy while the vehicle is not in use, with that surplus energy then used to power other appliances."
For much of the day, a vehicle tends to not always be in constant use, whether it’s parked up for 8 hours whilst the driver is at work or switched off to signal the end of the day.
Professor Richard Kotter clarifies: "Most vehicles are idle for much of the day, as well as in the evenings and at the weekends. What we are suggesting is a change in how we think about electric vehicles to make use of them in different ways to add value and reduce costs."
This statement suggests that when an EV is not being driven, the vehicle is still beneficial. As well as powering the vehicle when it is in motion, the car could also contribute to the power needed for other uses.
Professor Richard Kotter explains: ‘Let’s not look at them as only a form of transportation, but also as a method of short-term energy storage, using them to exchange or trade energy where beneficial.’
If the original source of power was being received from renewable sources, the energy that would then be fed back into the National Grid would be cleaner and cheaper. It would also reduce how much the country relies on the National Grid, where energy could have been produced by fossil fuels.
The researchers believe that "harnessing electric vehicles to capture locally produced renewable energy could play a huge part in reducing air pollution and climate change."
As the country becomes more environmentally aware, this proposed system could help with the bigger picture of tackling climate change.