Electric Vehicle Batteries Alone Could Satisfy Short-Term Grid Storage Demand by as Early as 2030

Chengjian Xu, Paul Behrens, Paul Gasper, Kandler Smith, Mingming Hu, Arnold Tukker, Bernhard Steubing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus Citations


The energy transition will require a rapid deployment of renewable energy (RE) and electric vehicles (EVs) where other transit modes are unavailable. EV batteries could complement RE generation by providing short-term grid services. However, estimating the market opportunity requires an understanding of many socio-technical parameters and constraints. We quantify the global EV battery capacity available for grid storage using an integrated model incorporating future EV battery deployment, battery degradation, and market participation. We include both in-use and end-of-vehicle-life use phases and find a technical capacity of 32–62 terawatt-hours by 2050. Low participation rates of 12%–43% are needed to provide short-term grid storage demand globally. Participation rates fall below 10% if half of EV batteries at end-of-vehicle-life are used as stationary storage. Short-term grid storage demand could be met as early as 2030 across most regions. Our estimates are generally conservative and offer a lower bound of future opportunities.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. 119
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-82683


  • battery
  • diurnal energy storage
  • electric vehicle
  • energy storage
  • socio-economic
  • vehicle-to-grid


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