EV vehicle to grid charger

Vehicle to grid

V2G stands for ‘vehicle to grid’ and is the overarching technology that enables electricity to be exported from the battery of an electric vehicle (EV) to a home, building or the electricity network.

Owners of a V2G-capable EV could use their EV as a ‘battery on wheels’. In different situations they could:

  • Capture their excess solar PV generation to use at night,
  • Charge their EV regularly when their electricity tariff rate is low and draw on that power when the tariff rate is high,
  • Charge somewhere else then bring that stored energy home, or
  • Draw on their EV’s stored energy when there’s a power outage to run their essential appliances.

Many will do all of these things and more.

Not all EVs are V2G-capable

Only a small proportion of EVs in Australia have V2G capability; around 6% in Queensland. From around 2025 we expect the proportion will grow and V2G will play an increasing role in creating energy benefits for EV owners, their communities and our networks.

In due course, relevant Queensland EV owners will be able to apply through our Customer Self Service Portal to connect a bi-directional EV charger to facilitate V2G. As this technology is new, there may not be any, or many, products to select yet; however, new ones will be added to our portal once they gain both their required electrical equipment registration and inverter product listing relevant for Queensland.

Check with your bi-directional EV charger supplier to find out if their product is ‘application ready’ for Queensland.

Further information

We’ve developed answers to some questions we’re often asked to help you understand more about V2G.

Note: Third party links are provided for information only. No representation or endorsement is made concerning any of these websites.

‘Vehicle to Grid’ is the overarching term used to describe the process of exporting electricity from the battery of an EV to a charger that allows for a bi-directional (two-way) flow of electricity while connected to the grid. This is commonly abbreviated to ‘V2G’.

In most uses, the electricity will only flow from the EV to the electrical circuits of a building and be fully consumed within the premises. This is referred to as ‘Vehicle to Building’ and abbreviated to ‘V2B’.

In cases where the building is a home, this can be referred to as ‘Vehicle to Home’ and abbreviated to ‘V2H’.

No, only a small proportion of the EVs in Australia have the capability to allow the EV to work with a compliant V2G bi-directional EV charger to export electricity from the vehicle to the grid or building.

Some EV manufacturers, and some countries, have led the way in developing V2G technology. For example, in Japan, there has been a focus on developing the technology to enhance Japanese communities’ resilience to natural and other disasters.

The only new EVs with V2G capability currently available for purchase in Australia are the:

  • Nissan Leaf
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

You will need to purchase a bi-directional EV charger that’s compatible with your EV and compliant with Australian Standards and our Queensland connection standards for a grid-connected inverter. This will have an in-built inverter that converts the direct current (DC) electricity stored in your EV’s battery pack into the alternating current (AC) power needed in your home or building.

Note: A bi-directional charger currently costs many times more than a normal EV charger.

The amount you could save is the difference between what it cost to charge your EV and what you would have paid to use electricity from the grid when you’re accessing electricity from your EV. A small amount of energy is lost in the transfer of electricity, which would reduce the savings.

Feed-in tariffs paid by electricity retailers usually only apply to solar PV systems, so you typically won’t be able to earn money from your electricity retailer for exporting from your EV to the grid.

However, some aggregator, Virtual Power Plant, or energy services companies will pay their customers for any power exported to the grid, regardless of how it’s generated or stored. You’ll need to investigate if these offers are available in your area.

Possibly, but not always. Battery life, or ‘state of health’, is linked to how frequently and deeply the battery cycles, or charges and discharges.

You should talk to one or more people who may be able to advise you on this, such as your V2G EV retailer, and do your research too. The GeoTab website provides some useful information on EV battery health.

Firstly, you need to make sure your EV has V2G capability. Other key aspects are:

  • Electrical circuit capacity – V2G EVs are capable of exporting electricity into your home at a fairly high rate of power, so your electrical circuits must be able to handle that safely. An appropriately experienced licensed electrical contractor can advise you
  • Bi-directional chargers – The chargers becoming available in Australia cost many times more than a normal uni-directional charger and are not a standard inclusion with the purchase of a V2G EV. Therefore, you need to include this additional cost when calculating potential savings made from using less electricity from the grid. Your V2G EV salesperson or an EV charger installer can advise you
  • Connecting to the grid – Once bi-directional chargers are available, to connect one to the electricity grid in Queensland, you (or your charger/inverter retailer on your behalf) will need to lodge a connection application with us. If you wish to be paid for the EV battery power you export to the grid, you’ll need an arrangement with your electricity retailer and/or an aggregator. Connecting a bi-directional charger may impact your ongoing eligibility for a feed-in tariff, such as that under the Solar Bonus Scheme
  • Impact on your EV battery – A battery system’s life is measured in cycles, or the number of times it can be discharged then recharged. As a general rule, the more an EV’s battery is cycled, the shorter its life will be. Your EV salesperson can advise you, but it is not a simple equation. The GeoTab website provides some useful on EV battery health.

Potentially, and once bi-directional chargers with the ability to operate when electricity is not available from the grid become available in Queensland.

For example, if a cyclone damaged the local electricity network and there was no electricity available from the grid, you could use the power from your V2G EV battery to power your premises, provided the appropriate electrical circuits and equipment had been installed. If the battery were to run low, and if safe to do so, you could drive your V2G EV to an area where there was grid electricity supply, charge it, then drive it back to power your premises.

If this capability is important to you, ensure it is available in any bi-directional charger and EV you consider buying.