V2G Alphabet Soup Definitions

In this new world of connecting electric vehicles to the grid, there is a lot of jargon created that makes sense to everyone working on it at the time, but tends to confuse everyone else not involved. Here is the alphabet soup of vehicle to grid language defined from my perspective.




Vehicle to grid

Interconnecting a vehicle to the grid and being able to exchanges messages and electricity bi-directionally, making the vehicle a Distributed Energy Resource (DER).


Vehicle to building

Same as V2G, but only managing the energy at a building site, not necessarily sending energy back to the grid. From a utility perspective, this is the same thing and has the same requirements. From a customer perspective, the vehicle would discharge to optimize the utility bill rather than a grid service.


Vehicle to Home

Same as V2B, but a home not a commercial building. Again, from the utility perspective, anything with an interconnection that could send energy back to the grid has the same certification requirements.


Vehicle to Load

A generator. No interconnection – an off-grid system powering any device independently from the utility grid.


Vehicle to Vehicle

Sharing energy between vehicles.


Vehicle to Everything

This is supposed to encompass all of these variations. I personally do not like the term V2X as it gets confused with vehicle to infrastructure technology that refer to systems that communicates with street lights and other traffic systems.


Smart charging

Uni-directional charging. This is insider jargon as a play on words the acronym V2G. Only controlling the charge rate, not discharging the vehicle.


Vehicle Grid Integration

This is a California policy term that encompasses all aspects of a vehicle connected to the grid. In short, V1G and V2G is VGI.


Vehicle to Grid

I’ve seen European colleagues use this instead of V2G. Perhaps V2G doesn't translate from English as well?


I believe V2L is an important category because it enables a vehicle to be an energy source without the complex interconnection and permitting requirements of the other applications. It is also portable, providing opportunities where vehicles can be a power source. In one sense, it is very similar to the 12V lighter outlet that many vehicles have, but enabling a lot more power by leveraging the EV battery.