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In California some start making money off electric cars – MSN Autos

Imagine if your Nissan Leaf orMitsubishi iMiEV started earning its own car payment every month in the form of a rebate check from your local utility.

A small (for now) startup in Palo Alto, Calif. called EV Grid Inc. has been working toward that goal for several years. Now it has a fleet ofMini E electric cars that it has set up to not only charge from the existing electric grid — in this case managed by local utility PJM — but also to feed electricity back into the grid when the need arises.

That reverse flow is called V2G, or vehicle to grid, and not only could it mean no more blackouts because there will always be a reserve of juice sitting in the battery packs of electric cars, but it also means individual electric vehicle owners will be paid for holding electricity on behalf of the grid operator.

MORE: MIT study finds that ‘smart’ electrical grids could be cost-effective

“Basically, our cars got paid for plugging in because they were able and available to respond to the commands of the grid operator,” said EV Grid founder and CEO Tom Gage. “PJM Interconnection controls a large grid region that stretches from the east coast to Illinois. When they needed more juice the cars gave it up. When PJM had too much juice, the cars took it in. We’ve been working on V2G for years, but the big question was always, ‘How much money do you get?’ Now we know because we got a check from PJM. For the month of March, with the first 15 cars, we got about $5 per day per car.”


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