CEO of EV fleet software provider Synop says V2G is a use case specific to school buses – Charged EVs


Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is a hot topic, and I ask about it in every interview I conduct these days. Some industry players talk about it in glowing, almost messianic terms, but others see it as more of a niche technology.

One of the few companies that has deployed V2G tech in an actual commercial (i.e. revenue-generating) project is Synop, a Brooklyn-based company that provides an energy management software platform for EV fleet charging.

During the summers of 2021 and 2022, Synop participated in a commercial V2G pilot with Massachusetts electric utility National Grid and school bus operator Highland Electric Fleets. Over 158 hours across both summers, a single bus discharged 10.78 MWh to the Massachusetts grid, generating $23,500 in revenue.

Unlike some in the EV industry, Synop CEO Gagan Dhillon isn’t given to overhyping his company’s achievements. In a recent interview (soon to be published here in its entirety), he told me that, while Synop has successfully demonstrated V2G from a technical standpoint, the commercial and financial aspects are still being worked out.

“It’s going to take a bit of time for everyone to get on the same page about what V2G can do from a revenue and financial standpoint.”

“I don’t think we’re ready to say that these are fully baked commercial opportunities, just because there’s so much that goes into executing one,” Dhillon told Charged. “The commercialization of them is still being defined, the revenue a vehicle operator generates is still being defined—it’s very case-by-case. It’s going to take a bit of time for everyone to get on the same page about what V2G can do from a revenue and financial standpoint. But from a use case standpoint, we demonstrated that this technology works, and that we can still maintain the uptime of a vehicle even if we drain its battery.”

Furthermore, Dhillon believes that V2G currently makes economic sense only in certain applications: “I think vehicle-to-grid is still very much a nascent technology. And I do think that vehicle-to-grid is also a use case specific to the school bus world.”

Synop’s platform is a full-featured energy management solution for EV fleets—V2G is just one application that it enables, and school buses are just one of several use cases that are good candidates for electrification. “The school bus stuff gets the most press for us, but I would say there are as many Class 8 trucks and delivery vans on our platform as there are school buses,” Dhillon told me. He mentioned drayage and last-mile delivery as excellent applications for EVs—Synop has several customers in both of these fields.

Source: Synop

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