Gothenburg, Sweden, tests strengthening the energy grid with electric vehicles

  • Gothenburg pioneers using electric car batteries to strengthen the local energy grid.
  • Collaborations with Volvo Cars and Polestar drive multiple vehicle-to-grid (V2G) projects.
  • With over half a million electric vehicles, Gothenburg aims to meet 20% of future flexibility needs through V2G technology, leading the way to a sustainable energy future.

Gothenburg trials the use of electric vehicles to level up its energy grid

Gothenburg is leading the charge in testing how electric cars can supercharge the local electricity grid. The city plans to use EV batteries to manage energy from unpredictable sources like the sun and wind. Additional management capacity will create a more efficient power system. Göteborg Energi, the city’s utility company, is at the forefront. They’re teaming up with industry giants Volvo Cars and Polestar for a series of game-changing vehicle-to-grid (V2G) projects.

Like many cities around the world, Gothenburg is facing a surge in electricity demand. 

By 2035, they’re bracing for a whopping 600 MW increase. That’s equivalent to the entire power consumption of Sweden’s third-largest city, Malmö. The solution is flexibility. Where better to find it than in the batteries of the electric vehicles that dot the city’s landscape?

Lars Edström, CEO of Göteborg Energi Elnät, commented: 

“It feels natural and inspiring to collaborate with leading electric car manufacturers on flexible solutions of the future.” 

“As a local grid owner, we see an increasing demand for flexibility. We have opened a local marketplace for that purpose. Batteries from electric vehicles have great potential to increase the capacity of the electricity grid and allow us to connect more customers faster. But V2G technology can also offer economic benefits for electric car owners,”

With over half a million EVs in Sweden boasting a total battery capacity exceeding 11,000 MWh, the potential is vast. Edström estimates that up to 20% of future flexibility needs can be met through V2G.

In Gothenburg, three projects are underway, delving into the intricacies of bi-directional charging technology, grid connections, and potential business models. The focus is broad, ranging from how homeowners can contribute power from their electric car batteries to the grid to a large-scale V2G project with Polestar starting in the spring of 2024.

Jonas Eriksson, project manager for Gothenburg Green City Zone, said:

“I am pleased that we, together in Gothenburg, can test all the different pieces of the puzzle that are required in the transition to a more sustainable energy and transport system. It illustrates how Gothenburg is an interesting place for innovators from all over the world, and how it serves as an inspirer and enabler for other cities as well,” 

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With these innovative vehicle-to-grid trials, and Stockholm’s upcoming ban on traditionally fuelled vehicles in the city centre, Sweden is ahead of the curve. As an early adopting EV nation, we can presume that the test results from their advanced EV landscape will inform the rest of the world’s electrification strategies for years to come. 

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