Gallery: University of Delaware’s Electric Vehicles Give Power Back to ...


Electric vehicles are pretty green in their own right. After all, the cars create zero carbon emissions. But imagine a vehicle that not only runs on electricity, but actually gives power back to the grid. One University of Delaware professor converted a few of the college’s vehicles to do just that. Under the school’s vehicle-to-grid program (V2G), Toyota Scions owned by the university and the state of Delaware feed electricity back to the local grid.

The V2G program, led by Willett Kempton, began back in 1997. Over the years, it’s expanded its fleet to include seven vehicles, three owned by the university and four owned by the state. Kempton hopes that V2G programs can serve as a reliable source of energy as America converts to fluctuating energy sources like solar and wind power. And he could really be onto something: One electric vehicle produces more than 10 kilowatts of energy, the average draw of 10 households. Since cars are idle about 95 percent of the day, when not in use they could serve as the perfect power source.

To run on electricity and also feed back into the grid, the cars require a cable that connects from the car’s radiation grille to a socket in the university parking lot. The car’s battery and the grid can communicate with each other via an internet signal carried down the connector, so users can ensure both the car and the utility’s power needs are met. Eventually, Kempton hopes these hook-ups would be common sights at places like rest stops and parking lots. Drivers can recharge their batteries and once fully charged, the battery could give back to the grid.

While the innovative strategy certainly benefits the environment, it can also provide some extra cash for electric car owners. Under a 2009 Delaware law (the first of its kind in the world), local utilities that receive power from the cars must pay owners the same rate owners pay to charge batteries. During March 1st to 25th, one of the university’s vehicles earned $143.53 from the local grid operator.

Right now, it costs about $75,000 to purchase a Toyota Scion and convert it to run on V2G tech. However, Kempton thinks that once all costs are optimized, the cars will only cost $3,000 to $5,000 more than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

+ University of Delaware’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration

Via Planet Ark


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  1. wezel December 21, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    They run on B.S.

  2. Mark Goldes April 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Interestingly enough, the vacuum of space may be the source for both forms of Super V2G. Physicists will undoubtedly debate the issue for some time.

    Water as fuel uses fractional Hydrogen, which may eventually be accepted as a Zero Point Energy phenomenon.

    Magnetic generators were first demonstrated in the 1920’s in Germany. Hans Coler called the source “space energy”. It may turn out he was correct and that these systems convert Zero Point Energy as well. Space is chock full of energy that has not yet proven practical for human use. That seems about ready to change.

  3. Robspe April 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    OK. Where do these electric cars GET the electricity they feed back to the grid? Out of the vacuum of space?

  4. Mark Goldes March 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Super V2G is on the horizon. See Cars as Power plants at

    On the same site Running on Water may also be of interest.

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