Arbitrage Trading Opportunities with Bidirectional Charging : Optimizing Charging Costs by Exploiting Electricity Price Fluctuations in Norway
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- Master Thesis 
The Norwegian government has established ambitious climate goals, with the electrification of society playing an essential role in achieving them. Specifically, the electrification of the transportation sector is deemed crucial. However, local and geopolitical factors have led to record-high electricity prices in Norway, undermining the benefits of electrification. Consequently, there is an increased urgency to adopt technologies that provide incentives for electrification. This thesis focuses on adopting bidirectional charging in Norway, specifically exploring the potential for electric vehicle owners to capitalize on arbitrage opportunities using this technology compared to smart charging. Bidirectional charging allows electric vehicles to take advantage of price fluctuations in electricity markets by utilizing the energy storage capabilities of the EV battery. The analysis is conducted through an optimization model that captures EVs' bidirectional charging behavior in the NO5 Norwegian power market, where the objective is to minimize charging costs. The thesis examines three simplified behavior patterns representing Norwegian driving habits and includes a scenario analysis considering various input parameters. The obtained results show that bidirectional charging offers advantages over smart charging and unmanaged charging in terms of accumulated cost savings. The annual cost savings when utilizing bidirectional charging range from NOK 415 – NOK 1,275 in 2022 and NOK 176 – NOK 625 in 2021. The main finding is that substantial volatility in day-ahead prices is a prerequisite for the economic benefits of bidirectional charging to be perceptible, and the magnitude of the economic benefits increases with higher day-ahead prices during periods of high volatility. Results from the scenario analysis show that arbitrage opportunities increase by investing in a larger battery capacity and changing the current grid tariff model. In contrast, a higher charging capacity does not show cost benefits to the same extent, as the increasing cost of the capacity component of the current grid tariff outweighs any potential arbitrage gains from utilizing higher charging capacities. Lastly, the electricity support package introduced by the Norwegian government compromises the full potential of bidirectional charging. This subsidy eliminates the essential price volatility necessary for bidirectional charging, thus eradicating incentives for intelligent technologies like bidirectional charging.