Australian researchers to study how Tesla car batteries can power grid

Reuters reports that Australia’s University of Queensland (UQ) plans to recruit Tesla Inc car owners around the world to analyse if the vehicle’s spare battery capacity could support the energy grid and even power homes in the future.

The university has partnered with analytics platform Teslascope for the research project, which it said would be a world-first trial that would check how owners of electric vehicles (EV) currently drive and charge their vehicles, Reuters reports.

For the first phase of the study, Tesla owners in Australia, the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Germany and Britain can apply. The programme could be expanded later to include other electric vehicle companies.

With increasing numbers of electric vehicles globally, scientists are looking to find how the batteries can provide other cleaner energy services besides helping lower emissions in the transport industry.

Researchers at UQ said most EVs are driven only one-eighth of its daily driving range of 400 km (249 miles), providing opportunities to store energy and export power to the grid using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers.

V2G technology is a connection between the EV and the grid through which power can flow from the grid to the vehicle and vice-versa. That potentially enables car owners to sell energy to the network, while utilities could use electric cars as a backstop during peak demand periods.

The study, which aims to initially recruit 500 Tesla owners, will collect usage data through the vehicle’s software interface and in return users will be offered a free premium subscription to Teslascope for a year.