Integrated energy company Engie, innovation firm Hitachi and automobile company Mitsubishi Motors partnered on a pilot demonstrating how electric vehicles can be used to optimise building and grid energy management.

The pilot was implemented in Zaandam, Netherlands and included linking a vehicle to everything (V2X) charger to an office building owned by Engie.

A V2X charger enables an EV to charge from the grid, as well as to discharge energy to meet supply demand on the grid.

Under the pilot, Hitachi provided its V2X charger whilst Mitsubishi provided its Outlander PHEV SUV.

The V2X was connected to the building’s energy supply systems, the main grid and an onsite solar generator. The integration allowed excess energy generated from solar to be stored in the battery of the electric vehicle.

The EV was used as an energy storage platform and as an emergency power supply system providing energy to meet the building’s energy requirements during low solar energy generation or when Engie wanted to avoid high tariffs on the main grid during peak periods.

The three parties claim vehicle to building technology would help companies reduce energy costs and global carbon emissions through improved energy management.

Service providers such as Engie are predicted to have buildings and transport accounting for 75% of total carbon emissions, according to a statement.

Ram Ramachander, Chief Digital Officer at Hitachi Europe, said: “…IoT and digital capabilities can help customers make buildings energy-neutral, increasing their energy efficiency and reducing costs, by optimising EV charging infrastructure. Our technology can also help to create new business cases across the EV value chain, including vehicle to grid technology, which enables flexibility with their energy distribution”.

Hans Boot, COO at ENGIE Services Netherlands, added: “This project provides a powerful demonstration of the outstanding effectiveness of energy storage technology. This charger exceeds smart charging as we know it and is basically the first real ‘smart grid charger’…”