VW Power Day: Charging could one day be free

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Bidirectional charging could reduce charging costs to zero, VW believes

VW Power Day: Charging could one day be free-Picture gallery Power 2021 charts

Yesterday's online VW Power Day event lasted around two hours, and it was riddled with information. The last part dealt with the topic of charging. Here VW mainly presented its fascinating visions on the subject of bidirectional charging, but also other topics.

First, VW technical director Schmall presented the charging devices from VW, including the charging robot, which will start in 2025 should, a bidirectional wallbox and a charging solution for countries with poorly developed electricity networks: an off-grid charging station that draws the electricity for charging from a 150 kWh battery.

VW chargers: normal wallbox, BiDi wallbox, network-independent charging station and charging robot

The last two products mentioned are already part of the vision that the new VW manager for the shop area, Elke Temme, presented: the vision of bidirectional charging. The idea is simple: electric cars can not only consume electricity, they can also feed it back into the power grid. An electric car could therefore be something like a rolling power bank in the future. And that's not a distant future, because MEB-based cars are expected to be able to charge bidirectionally as early as 2022.

Energy management software that runs in the Elli cloud should make all of this possible. Elli (Electric Life) is VW's charging starter. The software connects the intelligent car and the smart home. A VW ID.3 with a full 77 kWh battery could supply a house with electricity for five days. But the electricity would still be enough to drive to and from work for five days if you cover 40 km a day (i.e. 200 km on five days). But that's not all, VW wants to expand the concept to include fleets, residential complexes and factory sites.

The whole thing could be financially worthwhile for the car owner, so that charging could one day be free, according to VW's vision. Because electric car owners would of course have to get money for making the battery of their vehicle available for the intermediate storage of electrical energy. Because the additional charging cycles reduce the service life of the battery. Even more so, they will get money for it if the electricity comes from the car owner's solar system.

VW is currently testing the concept in Wolfsburg. The pilot program includes 1,250 apartments, 2 megawatt hours of storage capacity, 270 bidirectional wall boxes and photovoltaics with a peak output of 720 kW. The ID.3 is designed to store the electricity generated by the solar panels and return it to houses and networks when the car is not in use.

VW Power Day: Charging could one day be free-charging

When it comes to energy supply on a large scale, bidirectional charging could also help. Because 6.5 terawatt hours of electrical energy are lost in Germany every year because the electricity produced by wind and solar systems is not needed and cannot be stored. This energy would be enough to supply 2.7 million electric cars with electricity for one year. So the problem isn't that we're not generating enough renewable energy, says Temme.

Some of this energy could also be stored in batteries that are no longer suitable for use in electric cars. In their "Second Life" phase, the batteries are intended to serve as stationary energy storage devices. Another possible use are charging stations like the one shown at the beginning.

More about the VW Power Day: VW Power Day: Charging could one day be free-power VW Power Day: Six battery plants of 40 GWh each planned by 2030

VW Power Day: Charging could one day be free-free VW Power Day: The Group's plans for battery chemistry

Here you can watch the event in the original (English), starting with the part about the bidirectional loading:

Picture gallery: VW Power Day 2021: All charts

VW Power Day: Charging could one day be free-power

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