Meralco, Mitsubishi to study V2G application in Philippines
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is looking at the possibility of having your car power your home.

This as Meralco teamed up with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. to study the implementation of a “vehicle-to-grid” (V2G) application in the Philippine setting as the power distributor continues to power up innovations in the country.

Meralco vice president and head strategy business development Raymond Ravelo said the company has partnered with Mitsubishi Motors as it continues to push “the boundaries of electric vehicles (EVs) and charging technologies and innovations.”

“For instance, we are working closely with partners such as Mitsubishi Motors to test and prove the viability of vehicle-to-grid or V2G technology,” he said.

In explaining the technology, an EV will be able to become a source of power and provide electricity supply to the power grid, much like a battery energy storage system, Ravelo said.

“If the grid will need additional power, supply can come from vehicles,” he said.

Using V2G technology, peak demand on the electricity grid can be better balanced, by allowing electric vehicles to not just take power from the grid, but also return it to the network and expect to introduce a new potential earnings model for electric drivers. 

The Meralco official said talks with Mitsubishi for the technology had started last year, but the study started only this year.

“I think it started earlier this year. We were talking about it as early as last year,” Ravelo said. “I would say, within the year, we’ll have some findings.”

Mitsubishi is in the process of piloting its V2G technology through its Outlander PHEV.

The Japanese car manufacturer has partnered with NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest providers of smart charging solutions for electric driving, grid operator TenneT in Netherlands, and Nuvve a worldwide leader in V2G technology and grid service deployments.

Meanwhile, Meralco and Mitsubishi’s partnership go way back to 2013 when the power distributor installed the country’s first commercial EV charging station done in its Pasig City compound.

Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan had acknowledged the dawn of battery storage would disrupt the company’s distribution business, thus the need to eventually enter the battery energy storage space especially when prices of the technology go down.

He highlighted Tesla’s announcement of a solar power batteries called the PowerWall, a system that would store solar power, making it more affordable for homeowners and businesses.

The power distributor began operating eShuttles for its employees within the Meralco campus as early as 10 years ago.

In 2015, Meralco also launched an e-bike sharing program that allows its employees to travel point-to-point conveniently.

Outside Meralco, it deployed eShuttles and charging stations servicing the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University Canlubang, the Net Group, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Shangri-La at the Fort, and private developers in Muntinlupa and Taguig. 

This has also led Meralco to put up eSakay Inc. to venture into transport service networks, including EVs and charging stations for public use to support the country’s rising EV industry.

So far, the eSakay launched its Buendia MRT Station-Mandaluyong City Hall via Jupiter St. developmental route last year wherein 15 eJeeps will be operated.

Meralco is also looking into investing in the assembly of electric public utility vehicles (e-PUVs) to support its venture into transport service networks.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Phils. Corp. (MMPC), the Japanese car maker’s local unit, has also signed an EV cooperation agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) and Meralco last year for the use of Mitsubishi Motors’ zero emission electric car the i-MiEV (i-Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle), for evaluation and demonstration purposes. 

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