Gothenburg is testing how electric cars can strengthen the electricity grid

• In the spring of 2024, the test phase of Polestar's V2G project PAVE will begin, involving a large fleet of Polestar-3 cars.

The batteries of electric cars can become an important resource within the local electricity grid to accommodate energy from variable sources, such as the sun and wind, and manage power more efficiently. Gothenburg’s utility company Göteborg Energi is running several vehicle-to-grid (V2G) projects, together with Volvo Cars and Polestar, among others.

The electrification of society is in full swing. By 2035, electricity demand in Gothenburg is expected to grow by 600 MW, which corresponds to the total consumption of Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö. Much of the increased demand can, and must, be solved with more flexible load and balancing services.

Fortunately, Gothenburg has an advanced e-mobility knowledge cluster, and a very progressive automotive industry. 

“This is why it feels both natural and inspiring to collaborate with leading electric car manufacturers and other actors on flexible solutions of the future,” says Lars Edström, CEO of local grid owner Göteborg Energi Elnät. 

The V2G-potential is very large

The number of rechargeable vehicles in Sweden has now passed half a million, with a total battery capacity of over 11,000 MWh. This figure is expected to grow significantly. Since the average car is parked most of the time, electric car owners have great opportunities to contribute and support the energy transition when not driving.

"It is estimated that in the future up to 20 per cent of the need for flexibility can be covered by vehicle-to-grid, so the potential is very large," says Lars Edström.

V2G technology has become highly topical, but several issues regarding the interaction between vehicles and the electricity grid need to be investigated and deepened. In Gothenburg, three projects are therefore currently underway.

The different projects investigate, among other things, how the bi-directional charging technology can be used, how the connection to the electricity grid should be made and what potential business models, which benefit both the utilities and electric car owners, can look like.

“As a local grid owner, we see an increasing demand for flexibility. We have opened a local marketplace for that purpose. Batteries from electric vehicles have great potential to increase the capacity of the electricity grid and allow us to connect more customers faster. But V2G technology can also offer economic benefits for electric car owners," says Lars Edström. 

The V2G-projects have different focuses:

  • Together with Volvo Cars, bi-directional charging for home use is being investigated – how homeowners can contribute power from their electric car batteries to the local grid. Read more about the project at Volvo Cars
  • In the spring of 2024, the test phase of Polestar's V2G project PAVE will begin, involving a large fleet of Polestar-3 cars. In addition to local grid owner Göteborg Energi Nät and Polestar, the project also involves Swedish National Grid Authority Svenska Kraftnät, regional energy distributor Vattenfall Eldistribution, charging equipment supplier Easee and Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Read more about PAVE at Polestar
  • The collaborative project PEPP, Public EV Power Pilots, is looking into how vehicles in public environments can be used to store energy to balance the electricity grid, through bi-directional charging. The project is part of the Green City Zone initiative. Read more about the project here

“I am pleased that we, together in Gothenburg, can test all the different pieces of the puzzle that are required in the transition to a more sustainable energy and transport system. It illustrates how Gothenburg is an interesting place for innovators from all over the world, and how it serves as an inspirer and enabler for other cities as well,” says Jonas Eriksson, Head of Gothenburg Green City Zone.



Picture of Jonas Eriksson
Jonas Eriksson
Head of Gothenburg Green City Zone
Contact me about: Sustainable urban development, Transports, Collaboration opportunities