A team of Mechanical, Electrical and Industrial Engineering students from the HU University of Applied Science Utrecht, the Netherlands worked on a research project commissioned jointly by ABB EV Charging Infrastructure and the HU Centre of Expertise Smart Sustainable Cities on the financial benefit of bidirectional Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) smart charging compared to unidirectional (V1G) smart charging.

A specific e-bus depot in the Netherlands was chosen as a case study and only open-source data was used in the investigations. Using the e-bus depot as automatic Frequency Restoration Reserve (aFRR) for the Dutch national grid operator was considered the best V2G smart charging option to study in detail, because of feasibility and available data.  

In cooperation with a HU researcher, a simulation was set up with e-bus operational data and aFRR market data from 2019 as input and used to calculate the overall savings in charging costs for both V2G and V1G in various scenarios. In addition, the added costs of the charging infrastructure in the depot and the e-buses were studied. The results indicate that the added savings of V2G compared to V1G do not outweigh the added costs. The V1G peak shaving strategy to reduce the grid connection costs might lead to an even less favourable outcome for V2G.