Kia Providing 6 Soul EVs To University Of California Irvine For V2G Testing
Kia Motors Inc. and Hyundai Technical Center Inc. are setting up a partnership with the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The partnership will utilize the Kia Soul EV along with the university’s Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP), to test vehicle-to-grid (V2G) advanced smart-charging software and technology.
V2G is a system that some automakers are installing into BEVs and PHEVs. It will communicate with the power grid to allow energy to be transferred back and forth. Vehicles will be able to function as energy storage containers and then send the energy back into the grid.
Power grids deal with many variables when it comes to where the power is initially supplied from. Wind, solar, and water all fluctuate. EVs can either assist the situation or make it worse, depending on how systems are set up.
Will Decker, Program Development and External Relations, Advanced Power and Energy Program Masnager at UCI explained:
“To assist, their charging needs to be managed in a ‘smart” manner,’ [such as] smart charging. This project will investigate how smart charging might be deployed and how it might support UCI’s own grid as well as the state grid.”
Kia is granting UCI six Soul EVs for the project. UCI will use the vehicles to create algorithms to begin figuring out the specifics for EV charging coupled with power grid connection.
The Soul EV is Kia’s first BEV in the U.S. Hyundai Motor Group is the parent company of Kia. Both companies main locations are in Seoul, Korea.
Kia’s Vice President of Product Planning, Orth Hedrick, confirmed:
“Kia’s green car road map calls for a dramatic expansion of electrified vehicles over the next five years, and we are proud of the role the Soul EV will play in helping UCI’s students and faculty develop new and better advanced smart-charging technologies.”