V2G UK Fall Victim to Open Source Cryptocurrency Scam

Long time followers of the V2G UK blog may recall that many moons ago we took Elon Musk to task for over hyping Tesla’s open source credentials?

Yesterday evening (British Summer Time) we spotted Elon “tweeting” about Tesla’s open source credentials once again!

Whilst we all wait to see exactly how Elon’s offer of “Tesla vehicle security software for free” pans out, I really must mention that something else flashed before my eyes on Twitter last night. Apparently one or more of the mavens in Tesla’s marketing department had dreamt up a scheme to create some much needed publicity by “giving away” two cryptocurrencies, namely bitcoin and ethereum!

By this morning (BST) it seemed that Elon’s reserves of virtual riches had almost run out:


Unable to resist the temptation I hastily sent half a hard earned ethereum in Elon’s direction:


The strange thing was, half an hour later I still hadn’t received my minimum 0.5 ETH back, let alone the promised 5.0 ETH. It was at that point that things started smelling somewhat fishy. I belatedly put my almost atrophied command line skills to work, only to discover:


At first it looked as though my virtual currency must have been sent to one of Tesla’s showrooms in Russia. Belatedly doing my due diligence I discovered that whilst apparently there is a single Supercharger in Moscow, the showroom count is zero:


I know that Superchargers are amazing machines, but can they run HTTP daemons? I fear not, and thus I’ve finally been forced to face the bitter truth. I’ve been conned. Now I cannot help but wonder whose desk the buck for the apparently total loss of my fractonal ethereum stops on? Perhaps someone at Twitter will carry the can?

Or perhaps not? Meanwhile, according to the Great God Google:


Road Testing the 2018 Nissan LEAF and “RapidGate” Rumours

Here at V2G UK we’ve finally managed to complete an extended test drive of the 2018 model Nissan LEAF 2.0! We’d booked a 2 day test a couple of months ago, but had to cry off thanks to yours truly suffering a dose of the “man flu”. This time around my health held up and we picked up our two tone LEAF from West End Motors just down the A30 from here in Bodmin:


Our test drive was timed to coincide with the Welsh Government’s Connected and Autonomous Vehicles briefing in Cardiff. More on that in due course, but amongst many other things we wanted to discover if there was any truth to the so called “#RapidGate” rumours flying around on Twitter and elsewhere. If that is double Dutch to you then please watch this explanation of the term from the inimitable Bobby Llewellyn:

When the “kerfuffle” started Nissan issued the following “news release” on Twitter:

During our trip we intended to do a lot of motorway driving at 70 mph, including a cross country trip to visit Platinum Nissan in Trowbridge. Much more on proPILOT in due course as well, but we set off up the A30 from Bodmin and engaged Nissan’s by now somewhat autonomous version of “cruise control” with a target speed of 70 mph:


We still had some juice left in “the tank” by the time we reached Taunton Deane Services. According to the LEAF’s clock a distance of 90 miles:


Before heading cross country we plugged in to the Ecotricity charging station:


Having set things in motion we grabbed some lunch, then returned to discover this:


We certainly weren’t “fully charged”, and 25.2 kWh over 48 minutes is rather less than the advertised 50 kW rapid charging. We called Platinum to inform them we’d be arriving late, and enquired whether they had a “rapid” charger. They haven’t!

The LEAF’s satellite navigation system directed us to Trowbridge via the A303, and we followed its instructions. Certainly not the shortest route, but arguably the quickest? Once at Platinum we plugged in quickly and topped up “slowly”. Discretion being the better part of valour we departed an hour or so later and headed for Leigh Delamere Services for what we hoped would be a “rapid” charge. We were sadly disappointed:


Our own experience suggests that the #RapidGate rumours are not without foundation, and what is more the issue is not confined to the third “rapid” charging session of the day and beyond.

To be continued……

3 MW xStorage Now Live at the Johan Cruijff ArenA

We covered the start of this story, and are now pleased to be able to report that the xStorage Buildings electricity storage system at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, home of Ajax Amsterdam, is now live. According to this morning’s press release:

Today the largest European energy storage system using second-life and new electric vehicle batteries in a commercial building was made live. Amsterdam Alderman Udo Kock, deputy mayor for Finance and Economic Affairs (Amsterdam) conducted the official opening ceremony.

This unique project is the result of collaboration between Nissan, Eaton, BAM, The Mobility House and the Johan Cruijff ArenA, supported by the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund (AKEF) and Interreg.

The 3 megawatt storage system provides a more reliable and efficient energy supply and usage for the stadium, its visitors, neighbors and the Dutch energy grid. Combining Eaton power conversion units and the equivalent of 148 Nissan LEAF batteries, the energy storage system not only enables a more sustainable energy system, it also creates a circular economy for electric vehicle batteries.

Europe’s largest energy storage system is now live at the the Johan Cruijff Arena

Europe’s largest energy storage system is now live at the the Johan Cruijff Arena

According to Henk van Raan, director of innovation at the Johan Cruijff ArenA:

Thanks to this energy storage system, the stadium will be able to use its own sustainable energy more intelligently and, as Amsterdam Energy ArenA BV, it can trade in the batteries’ available storage capacity.

The ArenA is assured of a considerable amount of power, even during an outage. As a result, the stadium will contribute to a stable Dutch energy grid. The Johan Cruijff ArenA is one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world and leads the way in introducing smart innovations like this unique energy storage system.

The press release continues:

The energy storage system plays an important role in balancing supply and demand of energy in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. The storage system has a total capacity of 3 megawatt, enough to power several thousand households. This capacity also means that the energy produced by the 4,200 solar panels on the roof of the ArenA can also be stored and used optimally. The energy storage system will provide back-up power, reducing the use of diesel generators, and provide relief to the energy grid by flattening the peaks that occur during concerts.

Finally, for the moment at least, here’s a video of the Ajax Amsterdam ArenA and it’s new static distributed energy storage system in action:

BP Buys Chargemaster

We have previously reported on Shell’s plans to add “ultra rapid” charging points for electric vehicles on their filling station forecourts here in the UK. Now BP are following suit, according to today’s press release:

BP today announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Chargemaster, the UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging company. Chargemaster operates the UK’s largest public network of EV charging points, with over 6,500 across the country. It also designs, builds, sells and maintains EV charging units for a wide range of locations, including for home charging.

According to BP Downstream’s chief executive, Tufan Erginbilgic:

Bringing together the UK’s leading fuel retailer and its largest charging company, BP Chargemaster will deliver a truly differentiated offer for the country’s growing number of electric vehicle owners.

At BP we believe that fast and convenient charging is critical to support the successful adoption of electric vehicles. Combining BP’s and Chargemaster’s complementary expertise, experience and assets is an important step towards offering fast and ultra-fast charging at BP sites across the UK and to BP becoming the leading provider of energy to low carbon vehicles, on the road or at home.

Here’s an artist’s impression of a BP Chargemaster branded “electric pump”:


BP’s press release continues:

The number of EVs on the road is anticipated to increase rapidly in coming decades. By 2040 BP estimates that there will be 12 million EVs on UK roads, up from around 135,000 in 2017.

The development of convenient and innovative EV charging technologies and networks is a key part of BP’s strategy to advance the energy transition. BP is committed to developing new offers to meet changing customer demand and growing new businesses and supporting opportunities for customers to reduce their emissions.

BP believes that to accelerate the adoption of EVs, customers will require convenient access to fast and ultra-fast charging. BP’s UK retail network is well positioned to provide this access with over 1,200 service stations across the country. A key priority for BP Chargemaster will be the rollout of ultra-fast charging infrastructure, including 150kW rapid chargers capable of delivering 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. BP customers in the UK can expect to access BP Chargemaster chargers on forecourts over the next 12 months.

Chargemaster’s Chief Executive David Martell added:

The acquisition of Chargemaster by BP marks a true milestone in the move towards low carbon motoring in the UK. I am truly excited to lead the Chargemaster team into a new era backed by the strength and scale of BP, which will help us maintain our market-leading position and grow the national POLAR charging network to support the large range of exciting new electric vehicles that are coming to market in the next couple of years.

As we idly wondered after Shell’s announcement, “when will BP’s plans extend as far as South West England though, if ever?”

Prospering from the Energy Revolution

I attended the Knowledge Transfer Network’s briefing about the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s Clean Growth Grand Challenge in Cardiff on Wednesday, but now I’m a bit confused. At the start of the event we were invited to “live tweet” the proceedings. Perhaps fortunately in all the circumstances my ageing Android refused to do that, and by the end of the event we were told that the assorted presenters’ slides wouldn’t be distributed as per usual since some of the information they contained was still “top secret”!

However it seems safe to reproduce Innovate UK’s own “live tweets” about the event, so here’s Rob Saunders in full flow on the topic of the forthcoming Great British Energy Revolution, courtesy of Jon Wood:

Then there’s Mike Pitts waxing lyrical about “Transforming Construction”:

In the question and answer session I asked Rob if he could clarify Innovate UK’s Transport/Energy/Infrastructure/Construction competition roadmap for 2018/19 for those of us in the vehicle-to-grid arena. Broadly speaking his message “expect more announcements in May”.

Finally, for the moment at least, here’s a not quite live tweet of my very own:

Pop back here in a couple of weeks when hopefully we’ll be able to reveal much more concerning how to go about “Prospering from the Energy Revolution“!

OVO Energy Reveal “Domestic V2G Charger” Images

We’ve previously mentioned OVO Energy’s announcements about the vehicle-to-grid technology they’ve been working on, and now we can show you some pictures too! In a news release to accompany the launch event in London OVO announced yesterday that:

Today at its first ever Energy Technology Product Showcase, OVO unveiled a range of products that together with its intelligent platform VCharge will form the components of a distributed, domestic energy system for the future.

The range includes the world’s first widely available, domestic electric vehicle-to-grid charger, designed and manufactured in the UK. The charger will accelerate the global transition to electric vehicles and will enable drivers to sell surplus energy from their electric vehicle batteries back to the electricity grid – meaning they may never have to pay to be on the road again.

On the new V2G page on OVO’s web site they even revealed what their “domestic electric vehicle-to-grid charger” will look like. Here it is:


According to OVO’s CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick:

Renewable energy and electric vehicles are perfect partners for the 21st Century. Today we’re launching the world’s first widely available vehicle-to-grid charger, helping to solve one of the biggest challenges facing the energy sector. We’re enabling thousands of EV batteries to help balance the grid in times of peak demand, more renewable energy to come onto the system, and households to reduce their electricity bills.

This is the first step in building the distributed energy system of the future. One that is truly customer centric and built around households and their connected energy storage devices.

Our completely new approach to energy has been made possible by the convergence of emerging technologies, applying intelligence, and years of working with customers to redesign the entire energy system.

The technical specification of their V2G charger available on OVO’s web site doesn’t give one an awful lot to go on:

The OVO Vehicle-to-Grid Charger is 520 x 210 x 690 mm. It weighs 17kg. And it can be installed indoors or outdoors.

although the snaps from the launch event also reveal:

Power rating: 6 kW charge and discharge.

The news release continues:

The OVO Vehicle-to-Grid Charger is the world’s first widely available domestic bi-directional charger. Using VCharge, this charger will give drivers the option to discharge and sell surplus electricity from their electric vehicle batteries back to the electricity grid, helping to supply energy at times of peak demand. VCharge will also optimise vehicle charging to take advantage of cheaper electricity when it’s available and when there are more renewables in the system. Through their partnership, Nissan and OVO are leading the way with this technology.

Here’s another image, this time portraying OVO’s partnership with Nissan:


With slightly less fanfare OVO also pointed out that:

OVO is launching a Smart Charger which, like the vehicle-to-grid charger, will enable electric vehicles to be charged during off-peak hours, thereby easing pressure on the electricity grid as well as allowing drivers to take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity.

There don’t seem to be any pictures available of the OVO smart charger yet, apart from snaps taken at the launch event:

However as the image above suggests OVO had more exciting news to reveal yesterday:

OVO is also announcing its debut in the home battery market with a Home Energy Storage solution. This powerful battery with a custom built control and communications unit will dynamically and proactively manage energy and power use. It will enable everyone to store, use and sell back electricity, whether or not they produce it themselves.

As if that wasn’t enough, there is still more to tell you!

The smart electrification of heating is an essential component of decarbonising our energy system. Showcased at the event was the OVO Heat Dynamo, an internet connected smart switch that can be retrofitted to electric storage heaters. It allows users to control the level of heat they want, when they want it via OVO’s Smart Heat Customer App, while reducing their electricity bills by as much as 30% and providing balancing services to the electricity grid.

Here at V2G UK we did of course sign up for news of OVO’s V2G activities many moons ago. They’ve asked us to do that again so we did, only to be informed:


It would seem that OVO’s announcement of the “the world’s first widely available, domestic electric vehicle-to-grid charger” is a trifle premature? According to their web site it’s:

Arriving this summer.

P.S. Here’s a better picture of the OVO smart charger:


“Arriving this autumn”

Mitsubishi Motors Reveals New “Hyper Energy Station”

Mitsubishi Motors recently revealed a vehicle-to-building (V2B for short) pilot project here in Europe, and now they’ve announced an even more ambitious project in Japan, in a new release last week they announced that:

MMC already has 28 showrooms throughout Japan which have solar panels and the ability to use an electric vehicle’s battery power as an emergency power source, via a Vehicle-to-Building (V2B) charger. However the new Omiya “Hyper Energy Station”, opened this week in Saitama City, has also been fitted with its own lithium-ion battery packs to provide substantial power back up to the local electricity grid.

Saitama City has partially subsidized the cost of the facilities and the dealership has been designated a Next-generation Automobile & Smart Energy Special Zone by the Japanese government. The Omiya showroom, run by the Kanto Mitsubishi Motors Sales Group, is the fourth private facility and the first automobile dealer to adopt the system.

Featuring lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 12kWh, the building can supply power for recharging electric vehicles (EV) in the event of a natural disaster or power outage, when normal power supplies are cut off. EVs have played a key role in transporting people and good in previous emergencies in Japan, when conventional fuel supplies have been severely disrupted.

Here’s an artist’s impression of the combined “Static and Mobile Distributed Energy Storage” (SaMDES for short) unit:


Apart from the new hardware that combines both static and mobile lithium ion battery storage Mitsubishi also pointed out that:

MMC has already opened 28 “DENDO Drive Station” showrooms across Japan, all featuring solar panels and V2B charging stations. It plans to increase this number to 200 by 2020.

In addition to charging vehicles, V2B allows the EV’s battery to provide power to the building in times of high demand or an emergency. The building will then switch to charging the car at times of low grid demand, or when renewable energy production is at a peak. This has major benefits for the grid and provides cheaper, sustainable power for the EV owner.

IEC 63110 Project Team 2 Kicks Off

In our continuing endeavour to explain the arcane workings of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC for short) electric vehicle standards development committees we have some exciting news to report!

As predicted last November:


it was agreed at the IEC Technical Committee 69 Joint Working Group 11 (TC 69/JWG 11 for short) meeting in Toronto last week that work on the IEC 63110 part 2 standard (IEC 63110-2 for short) should begin by setting up a task force (TF for short) to “evaluate possible options for message encoding and transmission technology”. We swiftly volunteered for the new task force, not least because our V2G EVSE subsidiary is already evaluating precisely that for the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport (DfT for short).

In actual fact the Project Team 1 (PT1 for short) schedule has slipped a bit, so if you still have any out of the ordinary new “protocol for the management of electric vehicles charging and discharging infrastructures” use cases to bring to our attention there is still time before the Committee Draft (CD for short) stage of the IEC process is reached. In addition if you have any suggestions for “message encoding and transmission technologies” above and/or beyond the industry standard TCP/IP over cellular comms please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Lastly, but certainly not least, the existing IEC 63110 Security Task Force is still seeking input from suitably qualified experts in that particularly important domain.

Is Hitachi’s V2G Charging Station Really “Unique”?

We pose that question because Mitsubishi Motors’ press release certainly makes it sound that way!

Hitachi Europe Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors and ENGIE have demonstrated a pioneering project to explore the potential for electric vehicles to act as a means of energy storage for an office building. For this demonstration, the consortium linked the first vehicle to everything (V2X) charger to ENGIE’s office building in Zaandam.

Hitachi’s innovative V2X Charger is the first recharger that cannot only recharge an electric car but can also discharge the energy back into the building/grid providing different flexibilities including kW, ΔkW, kWh and VAR. Moreover, it is possible to connect solar panels and external storage directly to the recharger, allowing a much more efficient electricity supply to buildings.

That all sounds as though Hitachi’s “innovative V2X Charger” is just the thing we need for our V2G “Living Lab” here in sunny South West England. Our “artist’s impression” of the concept is displayed above. As you can easily see it involves most of the buzz words from the press release, including V2H, V2G, Solar PV and “external storage”. It’s also 5 years old, which means we’ve done a lot of research into the necessary technology!

External storage and vehicle-to-building is obviously old hat. We’ve personally tested technology that does both those things at the University of Aston:


However the EBRI V2G pilot project didn’t incorporate “solar panels” so let’s take a look at another recent press release shall we? This one is from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands:

Electric vehicles and solar power systems are fundamentally direct current (DC) in nature, so conversion to AC leads to unnecessary conversion steps and losses. And two separate DC–AC inverters are required, increasing the cost and size of the power electronics.

Why not use a single integrated converter that charges the electric vehicle from the solar power system on DC? That is what Mouli worked on during his PhD research. Based on Mouli’s doctoral research, TU Delft has developed a quick charger together with the Power Research Electronics and Last Mile Solutions companies which can charge cars directly with electricity from solar panels.

The TU Delft “quick charger” looks like this:

Delving further back into the mists of time last year we discussed Honda’s “Power Manager Concept” which looks like this:


which is presumably based on their current Power Manager technology, which looks like this:


According to Honda:

Power Manager Concept works by aggregating and distributing energy to and from the grid, solar panel-equipped homes or workplaces, and electric vehicles.

Electricity is received into the system from the grid or is generated by the solar panels and can be used to power and heat the building as well as to charge the EV. While the EV is plugged in, the energy can be stored and used at home or sold back to the grid, potentially generating value for EV owners.

Hitachi’s new offering evidently isn’t unique in that regard either then! Here’s their infographic of the ENGIE installation:


That makes it clear as a bell that they’re not doing pukka vehicle-to-grid yet either. Based on that image they also haven’t got any “static” battery storage installed at ENGIE yet.

We reached out to Hitachi and Mitsubishi, and whilst both companies have been very helpful we still don’t have a photograph of the equipment installed at ENGIE to show you. Hitachi point out that “the PV/Battery inverter functionality is the unique aspect of our charger”, but it’s still not clear to us in what way Hitachi’s claim to offer “the first vehicle to everything (V2X) charger” is justified. That being the case we have a suggestion to make. Perhaps Hitachi could let us test one of their new units at our V2G Living Lab just outside Camelford in Cornwall. Then perhaps we could swiftly establish for ourselves the veracity of the claims of Mitsubishi Motors’ marketing department?


[Edit – April 4th]

Hitachi Europe have pointed me at this Dutch language press release from ENGIE which includes an image of their charging station in action:


The Camelford Air Quality Action Plan Consultation

Regular readers will be aware that here at V2G UK we are concerned about the effect of internal combustion engine emissions on human health, particularly in the town of Camelford just down the road from us here in (Silic)Inny Valley. For more background please read on below the fold, but here is our urgent message of the day.

The Cornwall County Council consultation on their so called Air Quality Action Plan for Camelford closes on April 2nd 2018. If you want to have your say please complete the online questionnaire at:


at your earliest convenience by clicking the big green button towards the bottom of that page that looks like this:


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