2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Previews Vehicle-to-Grid Future


  • 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Picture

    2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Picture

    A special 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid is being used to test vehicle-to-grid technology. | December 05, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • A 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid is a key part of a new demonstration project for experimental vehicle-to-grid technology that may provide consumers with more cost-effective ownership of plug-in electric vehicles.
  • The special Accord Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a bi-directional onboard charger that allows the vehicle propulsion battery to both charge from and discharge to the electrical grid.
  • "Electric vehicle owners potentially benefit from supporting a more stable power grid, which can lead to reduced utility costs for the vehicle owner," Honda said on Thursday.

TORRANCE, California — A 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid is a key part of a new demonstration project for experimental vehicle-to-grid technology that may provide consumers with more cost-effective ownership of plug-in electric vehicles.

The special Accord Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a bi-directional onboard charger that allows the vehicle propulsion battery to both charge from and discharge to the electrical grid. With an additional communication device, the vehicle receives signals from a grid operator via a charging station, and controls charge and discharge in accordance with the signals.

When electric power is requested by the grid, the vehicle will discharge power from its battery. When the grid power exceeds demand, the vehicle proactively charges its battery.

"Electric vehicle owners potentially benefit from supporting a more stable power grid, which can lead to reduced utility costs for the vehicle owner," Honda said on Thursday.

No word yet on when such technology may become mainstream.

Honda has linked with the University of Delaware and NRG Energy in the demonstration project.

The vehicle-to-grid concept has been touted by scientists as a way to store energy cheaply, since the batteries in electric cars have already been paid for.

"Most of the time, a car is just sitting around doing nothing," said the MIT Technology Review in a 2009 paper on the subject. "For short-term storage — needed to smooth out fluctuations in power from a wind turbine, for example — a utility could quickly charge a car (or, ideally, distribute a little charge to hundreds or thousands of cars) when the wind is blowing and then take that electricity back a few minutes later when the wind dies down. The more cars that are available, the more energy can be stored."

Edmunds says: There are lots of hurdles to overcome before the vehicle-to-grid setup becomes a reality at your home, including whether or not all the charging and discharging could shorten the lifetime of your vehicle's battery and void the warranty from automakers.

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