CEA Recommends Measures for EV-to-Grid Charging

The V2G concept involves EVs supplying electricity back to the grid


The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has suggested measures to standardize and ensure the interoperability of batteries to facilitate the integration of electric vehicles (EVs) with the grid through reverse charging.

The vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concept involves EVs supplying electricity back to the public power grid to meet energy demands. The CEA’s report on V2G reverse charging calls for the inclusion of provisions for reactive power compensation in the CEA’s Technical Standards for Connectivity to the Grid Regulations.

The global V2G market, valued at $10 million in 2022, is anticipated to experience significant growth, reaching $11.3 million in 2023 and projected to reach $59.2 million by 2030.

In response to the Ministry of Power‘s request in March, the CEA formed a committee to develop guidelines for the reverse charging of EV batteries to the grid.

Opportunities from Surging EV Deployment

As EVs spend a significant portion (80-90%) of their lifetime parked, their inherent battery storage capacity positions them as an attractive and flexible solution for the power system.

The CEA report highlights this unique characteristic creates vast electricity storage capacity within EV fleets. Emphasizing their role, the report underscores that these EVs function as flexible loads and decentralized storage resources, providing additional flexibility to support power system operations.

However, it also acknowledges challenges in the ongoing development of EV charging infrastructure and integration. It points to the necessity for a comprehensive policy and regulatory framework that carefully considers the impact of added EV load on the network.

Distribution utilities grappling with high EV loads may face network congestion, voltage fluctuations, reactive power compensation requirements, increased peak load, and phase imbalances.

  • The CEA recommends a holistic approach encompassing standardization, interoperability, bidirectional charging systems, and optimizing grid infrastructure requirements to address these challenges.
  • It underscores the pivotal role of aggregators in participating in the electricity market through ancillary services. It outlines a detailed step-by-step process for aggregators, emphasizing the critical need for sufficient EV charging before participation in the V2G system.
  • Further responsibilities are highlighted for distribution companies (DISCOMs), emphasizing their role in providing electricity connections for EV charging infrastructure, implementing tariff structures, and ensuring proper operation and maintenance.
  • The report advocates for developing EV readiness plans by DISCOMs, supporting effective load management strategies, grid upgrade plans, and additional power procurement if required.

Synergies between Renewable Energy and EVs

Through intelligent charging infrastructure, when numerous EVs seek to charge simultaneously, the system redistributes them to allocate capacity. This enables charging all EVs by distributing available power across vehicles without overloading local feeders.

Network reinforcement becomes necessary when power is insufficient, especially overnight. With EV adoption, V2G strategies synchronized with renewable energy sources can minimize extra load impact on the power system and leverage synergies between EVs and renewables.

EV fleets can offer substantial electricity storage. However, optimal charging patterns depend on the specific energy mix, varying between high solar-based and wind-dominant systems.

If synergies are established, EVs as a flexible resource via smart charging approaches could reduce the need for investing in flexible, carbon-intensive fossil fuel power plants to balance renewable energy.

Despite EVs emitting no emissions when driven, their electricity often comes from fossil fuels. Transport electrification must align with power sector decarbonization, exemplified by Japan and Sweden, to maximize benefits.

V2G benefits are particularly significant in solar-based systems. Shifting charging to coincide with solar PV generation and implementing V2G can integrate higher solar shares, reducing the need for distribution grid investments.

For EV charging to complement solar, mid-day charging stations at workplaces and commercial premises are essential. Pre-cabling and smart chargers should be promoted in commercial buildings.

Smart Charging and Regulatory Support

The report underlines the importance of smart charging infrastructure for large-scale renewable energy integration and the necessity for regulatory policies supporting the sustainable integration of EV charging systems.

Recognizing the cost-effectiveness of electricity as a low-cost fuel for the transport sector due to reductions in renewable power generation costs, the CEA notes that EVs’ ability to store and return energy to the grid adds flexibility to power system operations.

Despite positive aspects, challenges such as increased peak demand, congestion in the distribution grid, and the requirement for distribution infrastructure upgrades for high-power chargers are acknowledged.

The report identifies technology standards, electric load management strategies, battery swapping, and advanced metering infrastructure as essential components for successfully implementing V2G services.

In response to the challenges, the CEA recommends the adoption of standardization, interoperability, bidirectional charging systems, and communication systems between mobility and the grid.

Other Key Recommendations

The report recommends establishing charging hubs strategically to enable two-way interaction between mobility and the grid, enhancing EV charging infrastructure at workplaces during the vehicle’s stationary period of approximately 5-6 hours.

The recommendation also encourages Original Equipment Manufacturers to investigate the capabilities of V2G-enabled EVs for implementing reactive power compensation. This approach aims to maintain charged EV batteries while avoiding additional discharge-charge cycles.

As of the third quarter of 2023, EV sales in India reached 371,214 units, a year-over-year  increase of 40% compared to 264,781 units sold in the same period last year.