“An energy internet enabled by electric cars”
Vehicles are the last frontier in society’s electrification. Since cars go unused and parked for 96 percent of their useful life, while plugged in, electric cars have the potential to be a vast network of energy storage reservoirs for the grid.
REV’s patent pending technology unlocks those energy reservoirs. This is known as vehicle to grid technology – enabling these cars to be a contributing factor in wide-scale renewable power adoption. The technology has already been proven. REV has built and sold state of the art electric SUV’s and trucks for utility, military and municipal customers.
For example, in March 2011, along with Honeywell Aerospace and TARDEC (the Tank, Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center, the science division of the US military’s automotive technologies department) REV unveiled the world’s first V2G electric vehicle that is smart-charging a renewable energy micro-grid (Ft. Wheeler Army Post).
Just three years old, REV has built an impressive team and successfully aligned themselves with top tier infrastructure technology companies while commercializing its technology with sales to Honeywell, Burlington Hydro and the City of Santa Monica.
Among REV’s milestones, they have been selected as a recognized member and contributor to Electric Mobility Canada, Vancouver’s Project Get Ready, Surrey’s Clean Energy Advisory Network, and the California V2G Consortium. Major media and many industry organizations have also recognized REV as an early leader in the convergence of vehicle to grid.
A recent study indicated Canada’s power grid needs more than $293 billion in upgrades to keep with the pace of growth and keep up with increases in alternative power generation. The capital required for the maintenance and improvement of the US grid would be substantially larger.
Additionally, there are expected to be 5-10 million electric cars on the road by 2020 – adding to the load on the grid. President Obama himself has committed to 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015.
REV’s vision is to license its technology to automotive OEM partners in the future.
The Development of a Vision
From a very young age, Jay Giraud’s parents say he believed all cars were powered from electricity – because his older brother used to race electric-powered RC cars.
After spending his younger years as a professional snowboarder, Jay witnessed footage of the Iraq war on CNN in late 2002 during a period of rehabilitation from an injury. This was the start of his exploration into possible solutions that could reduce the demand for oil and turn the world towards eventual sustainability.
Jay believed there must be one critical leverage point that could make the biggest difference in the shortest amount of time. He spent the next 5 years studying all possible renewable energy technologies across several major industries.
What he noticed was that it wasn’t a technology problem at all, it was that people have almost no relationship or understanding of energy. The car remains the last major consumer device not powered by electricity. It is the most emotional purchase that people make in their lives and they buy 12 per lifetime on average. This represented a major leverage point for improving people’s relationship to energy, for the largest group of people in one consumer category where the device was powered by something harmful, highly inefficient and had major upstream supply chain effects on developing societies.
Believing now that the electric car was the fastest way to alter people’s relationship to energy, he set out to understand what it would take to ‘fuel’ these cars, and thought that naturally, electric power from renewable sources made the most sense.
But how to make renewable power reliable, efficient, and cost effective?
From Energy Consumers, To Energy Producers
Will every electric car be a load on the grid that doubles the size of the problem the grid already has?
Or can its battery be a way for people to store renewable energy that they can produce at home?
It was with these questions that set him on the path to creating an integrated suite of technologies that allows people, their cars and their homes to effectively become self-reliant nano grids, with a vision to a future where the power lines are simply a backup system. A decentralized grid where people are net energy producers, instead of just energy consumers.
In 2008, Rapid Electric Vehicles became the product of Jay’s vision. The organization now has 16 employees with a 7,500 square-foot engineering lab in Vancouver, BC. REV has spent the past three years engineering a state-of-the-art electric car engine and software solutions to answer a problem that continually plagues the energy industry – how to store electricity for future use on the power grid. REV’s technology will help lower the demand on power generation and the need for new power plants by making existing infrastructure more efficient and providing a mobile energy storage solution.
“We’re proud to have created an electric vehicle that can serve a dual purpose of providing a practical, clean answer to the gasoline-dependent fleet vehicle at an equivalent price point, while simultaneously creating the software to prompt that vehicle to automatically serve as a dependable battery source for the local electricity grid,” said Jay Giraud, founder and CEO of REV.
What Makes REV’s Model Unique?
Due to multi-year development cycles that can’t easily accommodate non-traditional vehicles, car manufacturers aren’t keeping up with the demand for electric vehicles. The additional amount of energy required to supply the new vehicles with power also remains largely uncertain. But because of REV’s unique technology, the vehicles assist the grid through proprietary software that seamlessly manages the electricity flow, instead of only drawing from it.
Vehicle-to-Grid Technology Explained
REV’s vehicles can double as an army of mobile energy storage locations, taking in more energy when the need is low, and pushing it out when demand locally rises. These vehicles will then help prevent blackouts, and eliminate much of the waste in the energy system today, due to having no practical way to store power as demand shifts. Wind and solar power also becomes competitive thanks to REV, because that energy can be stored, so it no longer matters when the wind blows, or sun shines. It’s not just the grid in general that can benefit either. Construction and emergency equipment, homes, even buildings could draw power from these cars for hours at a time. REV is also preparing and submitting numerous patents in the area of V2G and V2X control
The company already has partnerships with the following companies SAIC, Multimatic, GE Capital Canada, PJM Interconnection, Borg Warner, Valence Technology, Coulomb Technologies, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, and GridPoint Inc.
Why REV Targets Fleets First
The REV team has obtained a Letter of Support from world’s largest wholesale electricity provider, PJM Interconnection, validating the high revenue potential for providing V2G services across a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs). These fleet EVs have technology and a price point that can render gasoline-powered vehicles obsolete while simultaneously providing mobile storage for the electricity grid and provide an ideal vehicle for the driver.
Imagine sitting in a vehicle that is completely silent when turned on but standing still, yet still packs all the torque of its gasoline-fueled counterparts.
REV has chosen not to try and introduce the technology into the consumer car market for the next few years, because the 16.3 million fleet vehicles in North America are ideally suited for this technology. They are normally stationary for at least 16 hours each day, typically don’t travel far from a central hub, and governments are mandating reductions on emissions using clean technology. Fleet owners typically drive about the same amount of miles each day as well, making a plan where they subscribe to mileage packages very practical – like someone would subscribe to a cellular phone plan.