Review of the impact of vehicle-to-grid technologies on distribution systems and utility interfaces

Murat Yilmaz, Philip T. Krein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Plug-in vehicles can behave either as loads or as a distributed energy and power resource in a concept known as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) connection. This paper reviews the current status and implementation impact of V2G/grid-to-vehicle (G2V) technologies on distributed systems, requirements, benefits, challenges, and strategies for V2G interfaces of both individual vehicles and fleets. The V2G concept can improve the performance of the electricity grid in areas such as efficiency, stability, and reliability. A V2G-capable vehicle offers reactive power support, active power regulation, tracking of variable renewable energy sources, load balancing, and current harmonic filtering. These technologies can enable ancillary services, such as voltage and frequency control and spinning reserve. Costs of V2G include battery degradation, the need for intensive communication between the vehicles and the grid, effects on grid distribution equipment, infrastructure changes, and social, political, cultural, and technical obstacles. Although V2G operation can reduce the lifetime of vehicle batteries, it is projected to become economical for vehicle owners and grid operators. Components and unidirectional/ bidirectional power flow technologies of V2G systems, individual and aggregated structures, and charging/recharging frequency and strategies (uncoordinated/coordinated smart) are addressed. Three elements are required for successful V2G operation: power connection to the grid, control and communication between vehicles and the grid operator, and on-board/off-board intelligent metering. Success of the V2G concept depends on standardization of requirements and infrastructure decisions, battery technology, and efficient and smart scheduling of limited fast-charge infrastructure. A charging/discharging infrastructure must be deployed. Economic benefits of V2G technologies depend on vehicle aggregation and charging/recharging frequency and strategies. The benefits will receive increased attention from grid operators and vehicle owners in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6353961
Pages (from-to)5673-5689
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Electronics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2013


  • Battery degradation
  • Charging infrastructure
  • Distribution system
  • Grid operator
  • Grid-to-vehicle (G2V)
  • Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)
  • Regulation
  • Smart charging
  • Unidirectional/bidirectional power flow
  • Utility interface
  • Vehicleto-grid (V2G)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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