E-cars as electricity storage

Researchers have calculated the savings potential of imported greenhouse gas emissions if electric cars were used as electricity storage.

Electric car at the charging station

Solar power has a crucial flaw: there is too much electricity in summer and over the midday period, and too little in the evening and winter. If Switzerland abandons nuclear energy, the already existing daily and seasonal fluctuations will increase.

At the same time, almost 20,000 electric vehicles were registered in Switzerland in 2020 – and the number is increasing rapidly.

Empa and the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) have now taken a close look at the potential of electric cars as electricity storage devices. This should enable electricity produced in Switzerland to be kept here, while at the same time reducing the need to import electricity, which may come from emission-intensive sources.

35 percent less emissions

The result of the study: in 2050, imported greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by around 35 percent if electric cars were used to store electricity. In combination with storage lakes and pumped-storage power plants, a reduction of as much as 60 percent could be achieved.

However, the researchers emphasise that even if the electric car storage potential is fully exploited, Switzerland will not be able to fully compensate for the fluctuations. In order to use the surpluses domestically, new technologies are needed, such as hydrogen or synthetic fuels.

In addition, there need to be enough electric cars, enough charging and discharging stations, and the legal basis for feeding electricity from electric vehicles into the grid.

Written by: sda

Photos: keystone

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