According to the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, a smart grid is an electrical system that intelligently ensures the exchange of electrical energy from various sources with consumers with different needs.
This is done using measurement technologies and primarily digital information and communication technologies. Such a system is designed to take the needs of all market players and society into account, enabling the use and operation of the system to be optimised and made more efficient. In addition, the costs and environmental impact are minimised, and the quality and security of supply are guaranteed to a satisfactory degree.
What does this now mean for the owners of electric vehicles? Like a car with a combustion engine, an electric vehicle sits around for an average of 23 hours a day and is not driven. This “empty time” can be utilised more effectively by using the vehicle for the purpose of temporary battery storage. The energy stored in the vehicle battery can be released back into the grid at times of increased energy demand, even helping to cut the vehicle’s running costs.
Overall, intelligent networking, load management and demand flexibility facilitate efficient use of energy and optimise grid utilisation. While the concept may currently still be a vision, the organisation Smart Grid Ready is working on developing European standards for the system. The first smart-grid-compatible vehicles should appear on the market in 2022.