Fruit 4 London, a distributor of fresh fruit to offices and private residences, is to trial the use of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology to power its electric vehicle (EV) fleet.
Its participation is part of a broader V2G demonstrator project led by Cisco, called E-Flex: a London-based vehicle-to-grid demonstration project, using “active electric vehicles in real-world fleets to prove the value of V2G technology”.
E-Flex is part of the Vehicle-to-Grid competition, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with Innovate UK.
The consortium involved in E-Flex comprises seven partners from across the technology, academic, energy and public sectors, including Cisco, Cenex, Nuvve, the Greater London Authority, Transport for London (TfL), Imperial College London and E-Car Club.
Fruit 4 London is looking to expand its territory while continuing to serve its base of 800 existing customers. With the majority of orders delivered on weekday mornings, its EVs can spend over half the week out of use. As a result, the company hopes to see “significant commercial gains from charging and releasing electricity in accordance with demand”.
Gabor Doroghazi, co-founder and CEO, Fruit 4 London, said: “We’ve always wanted to have complete control over our carbon emissions and it’s equally important to the majority of our customers that we are 100% green.
“Through E-Flex, we’re able to reach our sustainability goals and control our costs more efficiently helping our business scale.”
E-Flex will install bidirectional chargers at Fruit 4 London. Along with charge scheduling and fleet monitoring dashboards, which will allow the company to manage their electricity consumption when the EVs are not in use, electricity can be bought and taken from the grid at off-peak times when it is less expensive. Additionally, it can be sold and released back to the grid when energy is in high demand and consumption is more expensive.
Maria Hernandez, head of innovation Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “It’s more important than ever before from a commercial and sustainability perspective that companies are actively seeking to minimise their carbon emissions.
“V2G technology has the potential to transform the way urban logistics is powered and is a win-win for fleets and distributors. In addition to helping make the air in UK cities cleaner, E-Flex aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of V2G infrastructure, helping companies maximise the value of their fleets in and out of action.”
E-Flex will connect 200 electric vehicles in a real-world V2G testing environment. If you are a fleet owner and would like to sign up to this trial, register here – www.e-flex.co.uk/join-us.