The University of Delaware is experimenting with a fleet of electric vehicles (EV) that they say are not only good for the environment, but can be used by consumers to make money by supplying power back to the power grid.

With the help of the regional grid operator and electric company, professors at the university have developed a system that can balance power supply and demand in real time, allowing car owners to get paid for contributing electricity to the system. Electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt typically do not come with two way charging in the United states, but other countries are already using similar devices that allow the consumer to use their vehicles to power their house when the electric grid is down.

If electric cars become more popular, supporters of the technology say that a network of thousands of plug-in cars could help stabilize the grid. Willett M. Kempton, an electrical engineering and computing professor hopes that the new technology provides an incentive to make electric cars more attractive to consumers by allowing the added gadgetry to pay for itself within a few months.

Currently, there are five electric cars companies that are interested in a two-way power grid system.

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