Today in Cleantech

Tom Gage, the former CEO of AC Propulsion which developed the drive train for the Tesla Roadster, is keeping the dream of vehicle to grid (V2G) charging alive. My colleague Katie Fehrenbacher reports that he’s formed a new company, EV Grid, to work on V2G technology. The barriers to V2G are well known. Not enough EVs to start with, questions about voiding the warranties on EVs if they are converted to V2G, lack of clarity surrounding how much utilities would pay for the extra grid storage. I interviewed Roger Melen of the Toyota Infotechnology Center in January, and he vouched for the fact that utilities and automakers are worried about EVs impact on the grid 10 years from now when there are a lot more EVs on the grid. Melen spends his days figuring out optimal communications systems between car owners and utilities for managing and scheduling EV charging. And it could be that tipping point of EV market penetration when there are enough EVs on the road where the utilities have no choice but to tap them for extra juice, if only to satisfy and work with the increase in total EVs on the grid.