Bidirectional EV chargers could pay for themselves in three years. That’s according to Melissa Chan, director of grid solutions and strategic partnerships at Fermata Energy. The firm, which has developed its own V2G platform which was approved as the as the first U.S. bidirectional charger for the Nissan Leaf earlier this year, also shared that each charger could earn up to $15,000 over 10 years.
Fermata notes that, in comparison, a conventional unidirectional charger “could incur up to $30,000 over a projected 10-year life span from maintenance costs.” The company recently participated in a V2G pilot program with Revel, which operates moped, scooter, and ride-share services in New York City. Over the course of the program, three Nissan Leaf hatchbacks discharged their power back into the grid during peak energy demand times; specifically, from 2pm to 6pm on summer weekdays. The bidirectional chargers used were able to send up to 45 kW of power back into the grid, and the setup could deliver up to 3 megawatt-hours of power monthly while discharging Monday through Friday, according to Fermata.
This pilot program demonstrates the untapped potential of bidirectional chargers, which may be leveraged by both small fleets and residential users in the near future. However, it’s important to note that this arrangement is not yet possible on a large scale, as the agreement between Fermata, Revel and the local utility Con Edison may not be so easily achieved across other local utilities.
Even still, this represents an exciting development, especially as states like California begin to consider V2G charging tech at scale, to help maintain grid stability as EV adoption continues to grow.