Audi to launch V2H network in Middle East
Audi will be launching a vehicle-to-home (V2H) network throughout the Middle East. This will enable EVs to send energy towards the house or the wider network where they’re plugged in. It could provide a boost to EVs in a region that lags behind others in terms of electrification.
Audi is launching the network together with another German company: Hager Group, a specialist in electrical installations.
Today, most EV charging systems are still unidirectional. However, charging will become a more flexible proposition once the default is bidirectional charging. This will radically change the nature of EVs.
They will become storage units for excess power generated by wind and solar – sustainable but variable sources of energy. And they will be able to dispense that excess energy again at the most opportune moments and places, if possible at a profit, but for example also to provide the home with energy in case of a general power outage.
Seamless energy management
Speaking to Arabian Business, Alaa Mousa (Sales Director Middle East at Hager) predicted the network would “connect EVs, charging technology and home energy management, offering seamless energy management between EVs and homes”, based on his company’s Home Energy Management System (HEMS).
However, neither company has as yet revealed any specific countries or times regarding the launch of the Hager-Audi project. Obvious candidates include Saudi Arabia and the UAE, not just because of market size, but also because both countries are making a concerted effort to increase the share of EVs in their fleets.
15% EVs by 2025
For example, in Dubai (one of the UAE), EVs are exempt from charging fees until the end of this year, and from parking fees until 2022. According to some forecasts, EVs could make up 15% of all vehicles in the region by 2025. That will require a massive uptick in charging stations, both publicly accessible and home-based. Home charging allows users to make maximum use of lower electricity tariffs, often charged overnight.
By helping to turn EV drivers into ‘prosumers’ – both producers and consumers of energy – the Hager-Audi initiative could play a crucial role in driving the electrification of fleets across the Middle East, Mr Mousa said.