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This term — and its abbreviation V2G — are likely to be appearing more often in the future as it’s being promoted as a way to boost renewable energy sources.

It’s based on the fact that electric vehicles all contain capacious storage batteries, which are connected to a power supply for charging when the vehicles aren’t being used. V2G connects the batteries to the electricity grid and temporarily borrows the energy stored in them to supplement the electricity supply instead of, for example, firing up another power station. The vehicle batteries would then be topped up again using off-peak power, perhaps from renewable resources such as wind turbines, whose generated power would otherwise be going to waste. Owners of electric cars would benefit through their vehicles earning money while idle.

The term and the concept have been promoted for at least the last decade, are now common in the technical press but are only slowly becoming more widely known as the number of electric vehicles grows.

There are also some energy storage technologies that are under development at the moment and are being touted as being the next revolution in the industry. These include Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage systems, hydrogen technologies, ultracapacitors, and Vehicle-to-Grid.

Energy Weekly News, 4 Feb. 2011

The global vehicle-to-grid market is projected to grow at a blistering growth rate during the forecast period 2012-2020. The key enablers of V2G transition will be the smart grid, as well as the evolution of high performance vehicle batteries.

Entertainment Close-up, 24 Jan. 2011

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 9 Apr. 2011

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 9 April 2011.