Electric car owners will be called on to help Britain avoid an energy crunch as suppliers prepare tariffs allowing them to draw power from parked vehicles at times of low supply or high demand.
Cars which are charging on driveways are to be plugged into a system responsible for balancing the National Grid for the first time, in an experiment aimed at easing the burden on the country’s creaking energy infrastructure.
It will lay the groundwork for a national rollout of the technology if successful, paving the way for millions of electric cars to act as a giant battery so that power supply is stable at times of low wind speeds after the transition to green energy.
In the trial, which will begin at some point from April to June, car owners will agree to allow the grid to draw power from their vehicles and release it as and when required. They will be paid for energy which the grid drains off.
The scheme is being run by the National Grid and domestic supplier Octopus Energy, which has recruited 135 households.
Claire Miller, director of technology and innovation at Octopus, said that plugging millions of electric cars into the grid would “enable us to do more with what we have”.
Ms Miller said: “This will demonstrate how you can send a signal from the National Grid control room to those vehicles and contribute to balancing the grid at times when it needs a bit more electricity, for instance at tea time when there is a lot of demand.