Frequently Asked Questions
How will it work for me?
Once you plug in at home, you just tell us when you next need your car using the Powerloop app. In the meantime, we’ll optimise the charge and discharge pattern.
Will I be in control?
Absolutely. You can charge at full power at any moment by turning off V2G mode in the Powerloop app. When in V2G mode, we’ll also never discharge your car below 30%. This gives you a minimum of around 40 miles if you need them unexpectedly.
How does the rebate work?
We’ve set a fixed monthly rebate so that you have more certainty when thinking about your leasing cost. You will get £30 credited to your Octopus Energy account by completing 12 V2G sessions per month (like getting stamps on your coffee card!). You complete a V2G session by plugging in before 6pm and remaining plugged in until at least 5am the next day.
How much money will Octopus earn from using my car?
We don’t expect to generate as much as £30 from 12 V2G sessions. However, Powerloop is a V2G trial and so we are improving the results by mimicking the value that we expect the offer to make in the coming years.
Part of this future value lies in markets that are being created by the electricity network operators. One such operator is UK Power Networks, who form part of the Powerloop consortium.
How does V2G help the grid?
There's a huge amount of energy locked up in electric cars Just ten Nissan LEAFs could power 1000 homes for an hour. Our V2G system optimises the use of your car's battery; powering your home - and your neighbours homes - when electricity demand is high, then charging back up at times when demand is low. A more flexible grid also means a more renewable grid. The sun isn't always shining, and the wind isn't always blowing. V2G gives us the ability to store and release renewable energy whenever we need it.
What if I don't manage to complete 12 cycles in a month?
You'll only receive the incentive if you complete the full 12 cycles in a month, so unfortunately you wouldn't get the cashback in that month.
Will this damage my battery?
The shortest, and most honest answer is that we don't know. This is one of many reasons we're running this project; to find out what works in Vehicle to Grid, and fix the things that don't.
It's important to point out that there’s no risk for Powerloop bundle customers because the cars are leased from Octopus Electric Vehicles, which means we take the risk on any battery degradation. Nissan are also the only manufacturer to include V2G operation as part of their warranty - a major factor in using the Nissan LEAF.
However, early signs from V2G "proof of concept" projects have shown good results for battery degradation.
The general principle when looking at battery degradation is that a battery likes to be used, but not at the extreme ends of the scale. Ensuring a battery doesn't sit at 0% or at 100%, and keeping it slightly warmed up may help prevent degradation from factors such as dendrite formation. A study by Warwick University even found the battery health improved under optimal conditions.
Can I be a Powerloop customer if I have solar panels at home?
Yes, we don’t have any restrictions on solar PV. However, there are a few things to consider.
If you want to take the car and charger bundle we’ll complete a connection request - also known as a G99 - with UKPN. They assess the generation capacity of your home and the surrounding properties before approving the V2G installation. We’ll manage the whole process on your behalf.
Sometimes, the combination of solar PV and V2G export may exceed the capacity of the local network and UKPN will deny the connection request. The likelihood of this is very low and UKPN are keen to get as many V2G chargers onto their network as possible. We’ll always ensure the connection checks are complete before asking you to make any financial commitments to your vehicle lease.
How does the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) work with the Powerloop bundle?
A FiT is comprised of Generation and Export components. Ofgem have confirmed (as of August 2020) that your FiT will not be affected by taking part in Powerloop. You can choose to move your Generation payments to Octopus Energy or keep them with your current FiT supplier. So the good news is you can benefit from the £30 cashback you can earn by completing 12 V2G sessions per calendar month without needing to give up your FiT, happy days!
Why don’t you just put me on the Outgoing Octopus tariff?
Outgoing Octopus is a smart export tariff and our successor to the feed-in tariff (FIT). Although we’re using the Outgoing rate to calculate the additional reward for solar PV, we're not able to put you on the Outgoing tariff - yet.
Similar to the issue described in the previous question, this is because we would be double-dipping on export value - but all benefit would be going to Octopus instead of you. That doesn't seem fair to us!
About Wallbox (tm)
Wallbox is the smallest, lightest (and prettiest) residential V2G charger available in the UK. It can charge your car when demand is low and export to the grid when demand is high. It’s the next step in making the grid smarter, plus it makes leasing your new Nissan LEAF even cheaper. The first Wallbox chargers in the UK will be going straight to the homes of our Powerloop customers.