Hyundai Mobis says it has became the first in Korea to develop the bi-directional On Board Charger (OBC) for electric vehicles, key to the implementation of V2G (Vehicle To Grid) technology.

V2G refers to using the idle power while plug-in cars, such as EV and PHEV, connected to the grid, are parked. The electric vehicle is charged while connected to the grid, and the electricity remaining after the day’s operation is transmitted (and/or discharged) back to the grid. The electric vehicle effectively becomes a moving Energy Storage System (ESS).

The electric power supplied by vehicles can be used as emergency power in households and cities. Four electric vehicles can supply energy which can be used by 20 households a day. If more vehicles are available, the surplus power can be secured and large-scale blackouts may be prevented. Damages to industries due to blackouts are estimated to be KRW650bn (US$570m) a year in Korea.

The industry estimates if V2G is applied to 100,000 vehicles, 500MW power, equivalent to the power generation of a thermoelectric power plant, will be secured.

Currently, pilot V2G projects are being carried out in Japan, Denmark, the US and China.

Hyundai Mobis has participated in a V2G test bed project, which Korea Electronic Power Corporation (KEPCO) has been conducting since 2015 and was responsible for developing the bi-directional OBC.

Hyundai Mobis maintains it is the first in Korea to install the bi-directional OBC in vehicles, verify safety performance and develop it to a commercial level in a test bed project.

Hyundai Mobis started vehicle testing and finished it at the end of last month, while starting testing linked to KEPCO’s real-time power data from this month.

The actual vehicle verification begins with a dedicated charging station diagnosing the power state of the vehicle, such as battery efficiency and capacity. The optimal V2G schedule is then created according to the hypothetical scenarios in which the power supply, cost, and load are analysed.

Vehicles receive this data signal and repeat charging and discharging according to a predetermined schedule.

In future smart cities, many electric vehicles will be charged at the same time.

The successful development of the bi-directional OBC has allowed Hyundai Mobis to respond to the global V2X (Vehicle To Everything, including V2G) market, which is expected to grow to KRW30tn ($26.7bn) by 2025.