Electric Vehicles (EVs): A Potential Solution for Affordable and Abundant Storage in Renewable Energy

Australia’s electric vehicle (EV) fleet has the potential to serve as a significant source of low-cost energy storage, according to a report by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The report suggests that Vehicle to Grid (V2G) and Vehicle to Home/Building (V2H/B) technologies should be prioritized in national EV policies. The report states that the country’s EV fleet will be the largest and most cost-effective storage resource in the energy transition. It recommends setting a V2G vision in the National EV Strategy and valuing V2G and V2H/B as near-term priorities for industry development.

While renewables can fulfill most of Australia’s energy needs, their variability necessitates battery storage to ensure continuous power supply throughout the day. The report estimates that by 2050, the total storage requirements for the National Energy Market (NEM) will be 640GWh. However, the EV fleet will have a capacity of almost 2,400 GWh by that time, making it a potentially cheap and abundant source of energy storage if V2G is widely adopted.

The report emphasizes the need for an effective framework to access the existing capacity in the EV fleet. The marginal cost of implementing V2G is relatively low, with capital costs estimated to be around $25,000/MWh, which is only 6% of the current costs of large-scale batteries. Apart from providing energy storage, V2G and V2H/B can also benefit home or business battery storage by utilizing rooftop solar power and providing cheaper energy during peak electricity price periods.

Australia lags behind other countries in V2G and V2H/B adoption due to limited government support. Currently, only South Australian Nissan Leaf owners can install V2G systems, but more systems are expected to become available in the next few years. The report highlights the need for engagement in international standards development and product certification processes to catch up with global growth in V2G.

Despite the challenges, the report suggests that Australians may embrace V2G and V2H/B technologies due to their high adoption rates of other carbon-free energy options like solar and batteries. The current grid standards also support the inclusion of these technologies. A survey conducted last year revealed that most EV owners are interested in V2G or V2H capabilities.

For potential investors in V2G or V2H technologies, the report brings good news, as it suggests that the government may support or reduce regulations surrounding the transition. However, the report notes that no Australian jurisdiction currently has policies or programs to promote V2G capabilities or consumer uptake. It calls on Australian governments, regulators, and industry stakeholders to prepare the necessary policy and regulatory frameworks to enable the realization of V2G benefits.
Electric Vehicles (EVs): A Potential Solution for Affordable and Abundant Storage in Renewable Energy


The global energy landscape is rapidly evolving, with the need for sustainable and renewable energy sources becoming more urgent than ever. As the world strives to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and address climate change, renewable energy technologies like solar and wind power have gained significant traction. However, the intermittent nature of these energy sources remains a challenge, as they are unable to provide a consistent supply of electricity around the clock.

This issue has spurred a significant research focus on energy storage systems, which can store the excess energy generated during peak periods and make it available during times of low generation. Historically, large-scale batteries have been the primary solution for energy storage, but they are often expensive and lack scalability. However, electric vehicles (EVs) are now being recognized as a potential gamechanger in the pursuit of affordable and abundant storage in renewable energy.

The Potential of EVs as Storage Devices

The adoption of EVs has increased dramatically in recent years, driven by environmental concerns, government incentives, and technological advancements. The vast energy storage potential possessed by EVs lies in their battery packs. As the capacity and efficiency of these battery packs continue to improve, EVs have the ability to store and release large amounts of energy, making them ideal storage devices for renewable energy.

The concept of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology has emerged as a significant development in utilizing EVs for energy storage. With V2G, EVs not only receive electricity from the power grid but can also return excess stored energy back to the grid when needed. This two-way energy flow enables a more efficient utilization of renewable energy sources and encourages a decentralized energy system.

Benefits of EVs as Energy Storage

1. Cost-effectiveness: The widespread adoption of EVs would drive down the cost of battery manufacturing, making energy storage more affordable for both consumers and grid operators. The core technology used in EV batteries, lithium-ion, is already experiencing cost reductions, and economies of scale will further enhance the affordability of this technology.

2. Grid stability: By storing surplus electricity during periods of high generation and releasing it during peak demand, EVs can help stabilize the grid and alleviate the strain imposed during times of fluctuating energy supply. This smoothing effect would result in a more resilient and reliable energy system.

3. Integration of renewable energy: EVs can facilitate the integration of more renewable energy sources, which are often subject to fluctuations due to weather conditions. By effectively storing excess renewable energy during peak generation periods, EVs can ensure a constant and steady supply of electricity, reducing the need for backup fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Challenges and Future Implications

While the potential for EVs as energy storage is promising, there are several challenges that need to be addressed. These include developing standardized V2G protocols, ensuring the durability of EV batteries over time, and managing the charging and discharging cycles efficiently.

Moreover, the effective integration of EVs into the energy system requires the development of intelligent grid management systems that can optimize the charging and discharging patterns of these vehicles based on supply and demand dynamics.

Despite these challenges, the prospects for EVs as a solution for affordable and abundant storage in renewable energy are encouraging. The continued investments in battery research and development, coupled with supportive policies and incentives, will further drive the adoption of EVs as energy storage devices, revolutionizing the renewable energy landscape.


Electric vehicles have emerged as a potential solution for affordable and abundant storage in renewable energy. With their ever-improving battery technology and the development of V2G capabilities, EVs can store and release large amounts of energy, making them an attractive option for energy storage. The advantages of EVs, such as cost-effectiveness, improved grid stability, and the integration of renewable energy, make them a key player in the transition towards a sustainable energy future. As research and innovation in this field continue to flourish, EVs have the potential to reshape the way we store and utilize renewable energy on a global scale.