Daniel Susco
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You Could Make Thousands Using Your EV as a Battery and Selling Electricity

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The 2016 Mercedes-Benz B-Class features a starting MSRP of $41,450

One of the biggest complaints about electric vehicles in the past has been that they are a fair amount more expensive than gas-engine counterparts. However, just like the complaint about electric car range has started to peter out in the face of rapidly increasing battery capacity, some believe that the complaint that EVs are expensive will disappear as people start using them to start making money, all without driving it out of the garage.

Basically, the idea is that people will begin using their electric vehicles as giant in-home battery packs, storing power during down times which the owner can then turn around and sell back to the electric company during peaks. Presumably, over the course of the vehicle’s life, these power sales would pay for the purchase cost of the vehicle.

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This is made a somewhat more attainable goal by the dropping price of electric vehicles, most recently the around-$30,000 pair of the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevy Bolt, one of which comes out later this year, and the other of which is slated to start deliveries sometime next year.

Popular Science points out that buying stored energy from people’s EVs during peak times makes more sense for power companies, since the alternative is firing up additional gas- or coal-burning plants, which are expensive to run and produce much more pollution. It is simply more efficient to buy back the already-generated, stored electricity. This way, a fleet of EVs becomes a sort of stopgap power plant.

Finally, when the battery runs down, there are a number of possibilities of organizations to whom EV owners can sell the used battery, making even more money.

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And who knows? Analysts are predicting rising EV sales in the next decade, so it is entirely possible that power companies might start encouraging the practice. However, personally, I have to wonder if, with Tesla coming out with its Powerwall and Nissan looking to do the same, people would want to buy a car and use it as a battery when they can simply buy a battery to use as a battery.

News Source: Popular Science

  • Daniel SuscoEditor

    Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.