The Mobility House appoints Russell Vare, VP of VGI, North America

June 20, 2024

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Meet our latest hire with years of experience in VGI from Nissan to groundbreaking school bus pilots. Discover his vision for the future!

Russell Ware, The Mobility House, VP of VGI, North America

Would you tell us a bit about your background in vehicle-grid integration (VGI)?  

I got started in this space at Nissan working on the Nissan LEAF launch back in 2010, where the company quickly saw the value of smart charging and Vehicle to Grid. I had the opportunity to lead Nissan’s role in a V2G pilot project in 2012 with the Department of Defense and Southern California Edison at the Los Angeles Airforce Base where we connected 14 Nissan LEAFs along with other EVs to provide grid services. I’ve since been obsessed with the topic, and I have worked with several companies continuing to push smart charging and bidirectional charging forward as much as possible, including eight V2G school bus pilots totaling more than 1MW of capacity.  

What is it about VGI that energizes you?  

The scale of the opportunity. There are about 14M EVs in the world today, with growth that is expected to exceed 100M EVs by the end of the decade. Assuming each EV has a 50kWh battery that is 5TWhs of energy storage sitting in driveways and parking lots. We can create so much load flexibility with smart charging and automated load management. With bidirectional charging, we only need to tap into a fraction of those batteries to access a massive amount of energy storage capacity. VGI is such a powerful and necessary tool to enable the energy transition.  

The most interesting trend is the shift in automakers embracing VGI. It was mostly an afterthought for many years, but now smart charging has quickly become the default as automakers realize there are tangible savings for their customers. Bidirectional charging is now also on many automaker roadmaps, with some offering commercial solutions today. For many years there was skepticism that the auto industry would ever allow export power, but now most of the major automakers have announced commitments.  

What drew you to The Mobility House, and what makes right now an exciting time to join the team?  

I worked with The Mobility House for the first time in 2015 on stationary storage projects while at Mercedes-Benz. I was always impressed by the company, the team and the technology. Just to name a few capabilities, the Mobility House has advanced energy trading, a new V2G mobile app coming to market with Renault, and Automated Load Management for fleets. This is such an exciting time for the company as it continues to grow in new regions and new segments, with a strong focus on VGI. Herbert Diess as Executive Chairman is driving new opportunities for the company, and I believe The Mobility House is best positioned to be a global leader in VGI.     

What are you most looking forward to working on at The Mobility House?  

Creating GWs of flexible capacity for the grid using EV batteries!