Bus-2-grid to launch in London

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The first electric bus-to-grid project is gearing up to launch at the Northumberland Park bus depot in northeast Greater London.

The initiative under the leadership of energy distribution solution provider SSE Enterprise represents the next step in vehicle-to-grid with the growing electrification of buses. It aims to explore the commercial value and social benefits to the energy and passenger transportation systems and the consumer engagement approaches necessary for its implementation.

BYD, through its UK partner Alexander Dennis, is supplying 28 BYD ADL Enviro 400EV double deck ebuses which, using smart technology, will provide bi-directional charging capable of feeding energy back to the power grid.

BYD’s new V2G infrastructure that is being delivered is understood to be the first in the commercial vehicle sector to provide high power discharge technology for electric buses.

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Vehicles are recharged overnight when energy demand is low and tariffs cheaper, with the electricity on the ebus fed back to London’s grid when demand is high.

The 28 state-of-the-art double decker buses should be capable of returning over 1MW of energy to the grid.

“If we’re going to make real progress in decarbonising transport and hitting climate change targets, we need to optimise the existing flexibility within the energy system,” says Kevin Welstead, EV Sector Director for SSE Enterprise.

“Developing a charging infrastructure that operates in two directions so that batteries can give back as well as take from the grid is an important part of this. Delivering the Bus2Grid project is the next natural step in using smart technology to make bidirectional charging the reality for today’s bus users.”

The project, claimed a world first, is being supported from the UK government’s Innovate UK. Other partners are UK Power Networks, Leeds University and the bus operator Go Ahead London.

The 28 V2G ebuses will be part of a total fleet of 120 electric vehicles at what is set to become UK’s largest electric bus garage with overnight charging capability at Northumberland Park. Current Covid-19 restrictions prevent the setting of a specific ‘switch on’ date, but the project is gearing-up for operations to commence in the summer 2021.

BYD claim in excess of 500 pure-electric buses either delivered or on order with operators across the UK.