As plug-in electric vehicle manufacturing and use increases, utilities, automakers and consumers are seeing them as a business opportunity. Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies are enablingEV batteries to provide ancillary services to the grid that can complement intermittent renewable energy sources or shave demand during peak hours.

Scientific American featured an article today that looks at how electric vehicles will play a key role in the grid of the future. The article contends that while it is technically feasible to hook electric vehicles up to the grid and leverage their energy storage capacity, it may not be all that desirable in practice.

One problem is that vehicles are inherently mobile. While the average commuter EV sits idle for most of the day, making it an attractive grid resource, the vehicle must always be able to serve its primary function as a source of transportation. Drivers need to have confidence that their EV has enough charge to get them from point A to B. Managing the unique demands of each grid-tied vehicle could make for a logistical nightmare. And while it's technologically possible, V2G communication still has to overcome a number of technical hurdles...(Scientific American)