Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) refers to efforts to bi-directionally link the electric power system and the transportation system in ways that can improve the sustainability and security of both. A transition to V2G could enable vehicles to simultaneously improve the efficiency (and profitability) of electricity grids, reduce greenhouse gas emissions for transport, accommodate low-carbon sources of energy, and reap cost savings for owners, drivers, and other users. To understand the recent state of this field of research, here we conduct a systematic review of 197 peer-reviewed articles published on V2G from 2015 to early 2017. We find that the majority of V2G studies in that time period focus on technical aspects of V2G, notably renewable energy storage, batteries, or load balancing to minimise electricity costs, in some cases including environmental goals as constraints. A much lower proportion of studies focus on the importance of assessing environmental and climate attributes of a V2G transition, or on the role of consumer acceptance and knowledge of V2G systems. Further, there is need for exploratory work on natural resource use and externalities, discourses and narratives as well as social justice, gender, and urban resilience considerations. These research gaps need to be addressed if V2G is to achieve the societal transition its advocates seek.
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