Volkswagen starts trading on German electricity market

Volkswagen starts trading on German electricity market
Elli trading team. Courtesy Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen Group the first automotive company to trade on the German electricity market

Volkswagen Group and subsidiary Elli have announced the start of energy trading on the German electricity market of Europe’s largest power exchange, EPEX Spot, through the use of vehicle batteries and a digital electricity trading platform.

The pilot project is being driven forward jointly by Elli and Volkswagen After Sales and is a first step on the way to a planned Smart Energy Platform for Elli.

Volkswagen Group Charging GmbH, known by the brand name Elli, is responsible for the VW Group’s energy and charging solutions as well as the battery business.

In the future, Volkswagen and Elli want to utilise the growing storage capacities of electric cars and batteries in the energy system, with the potential to expand capacities for energy trading.

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Peak energy trading hours

Elli’s market participation occurs through an intelligent platform for trading, controlling and optimising batteries.

Bids can be automatically placed on the stock exchange via the platform. The trading results are translated into a timetable and the battery is automatically charged or discharged.

Electricity is purchased during periods of low prices, with a tendency towards a high share of renewables, and sold during periods of high prices, with a tendency towards a low share.

As a result, states Elli, trading revenues can be generated and renewable energy is used in a more optimal setting. The stationary battery storage uses 28 battery systems and 34 ‘e-up!’ cell modules.

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Elli and VW Group have ambitions of developing a smart energy platform, which will be later used for more complex applications.

Elli cites the example of investigating the possibilities and scalability of large-scale storage systems together with the battery company PowerCo. In the future, they state, the growing e-car fleet can also be integrated into the energy grid via V2H (vehicle to home) and V2G (vehicle to grid) technologies and serve as a mobile power bank.

Elli CEO Giovanni Palazzo commented on the partnership, calling VW Group “Europe’s largest mobility service provider in the field of charging and energy. We want to further expand this leading position and develop Elli into a leading trading company for battery flexibility.

“Electricity trading is a major milestone on this path. Our long-term goal is clear: We want to give our customers a clear advantage in terms of electricity prices and at the same time develop new, high-revenue business models that will strengthen Elli in the long term.”

Volue’s optimisation

The energy model used by Volkswagen makes use of an optimisation and trading solution from Volue Energy GmbH, through which Elli has begun intraday energy trading.

The solution comprises the BoFiT optimisation module and the VAT-P trading module for automated transaction processing.

Volue’s energy trading solution went live on July 12, 2023.

Elli has started marketing batteries in a trial set-up from Volkswagen Group After Sales in Baunatal, Hesse. This will hold a battery capacity of up to 335MWh. Further power centres are planned.

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Elli is also testing the value chain for the future power centres with a trial storage set-up in Baunatal from Volkswagen Group After Sales, which was successfully connected to Elli’s battery control system in June this year.

According to Volue, in combination with charging management and monitoring, BoFiT determines how much power can be bought or released and whether the conditions are favourable for buying or selling power on the exchange.

Volue Algo Trader Power takes the trading recommendations calculated by BoFiT and manages trading on the exchange. This ranges from generating bids to completing the transaction.

Said Kora Töpfer, head of German public & regulatory affairs at the European Power Exchange EPEX Spot: “We are pleased to welcome the Volkswagen Group and Elli as the first automotive company to trade with us on the German electricity market.

“Our continuously growing electricity exchange needs companies that want to get involved in trading and control the growth of renewable energies with us in order to compensate for fluctuating demand and energy supply.”