Volkswagen plans to tap electric car batteries to compete with power firms
Volkswagen's expansion in electric cars will open up new business opportunities in storing and managing energy, encroaching on business currently dominated by utilities and energy firms, chief strategist Michael Jost said on Thursday.
Electric car batteries could be used to stabilise the energy grid by charging the battery in times of excess supply and selling electricity back to the grid at times when supplies of electricity from wind and solar power are low, Jost said.
"By 2025 we will have 350 gigawatt hours worth of energy storage at our disposal through our electric car fleet. Between 2025 and 2030 this will grow to 1 terawatt hours worth of storage," Jost told journalists in Berlin.
"That's more energy than is currently generated by all the hydroelectric power stations in the world. We can guarantee that energy will be used and stored and this will be a new area of business."
The German carmaker is not alone in looking into this field. German utility E.ON has been working with Japanese carmaker Nissan to develop so-called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services.
Volkswagen is launching the ID:3 electric car this year. A basic version will cost less than 24,000 euros ($27,000) in Germany, once green car tax breaks and incentives are deducted, putting electric cars on par with combustion engined variants.