Link-U Tech is pumping electricity from EVs back into the power grid

Business & Technology

Link-U Tech, a Chinese company founded last year by a team at Tsinghua University, is trying to commercialize two-way charging stations for electric vehicles. It has competition in major Chinese EV companies like NIO.

Link U
Image from Link-U Tech via 36kr

Link-U Tech 链宇科技, a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology company that promises to connect electric vehicles to city power grids is on the verge of commercialization. Founded last year by a research team at Tsinghua University, Link-U may prove the next evolutionary step for electric vehicles.

  • Electric vehicles are useful for transport, but they’re also akin to mobile battery packs. Hook them up to a power supply station and they could modulate power demand peaks, facilitate electric power trading, and even offer rescue operations during power outages.
  • Through two-way charging stations, V2G can help regulate the supply and demand of electricity across a power grid. Users unload leftover energy from their car to many different locations, including homes, buildings, or other grid services.
  • Last May, Link-U Tech completed a $1.57 million angel financing round from ZhenFund, a Beijing-based venture capital firm. The funding was primarily used for product development and marketing.

Business in the morning.

It only takes two minutes each day to stay tapped in to the world’s second largest economy. Sign up for Tipsheet, delivered to your inbox for free at 9am ET daily.


The context: V2G technology does not disrupt a consumer’s ability to charge their electric vehicle. By improving the electric power balance, energy efficiency is the main advantage of V2G’s two-way charging systems.

  • With Link-U’s research, EVs’ built-in smart coordination platforms would quickly respond to locally based electric voltage fluctuations. Therefore, demand surges in the electricity market, typically for weather-related incidents, could be handled with electricity from cars. Normally in China, these demand hikes are met with energy generated from coal.
  • Estimated final costs of EVs with this technology come in at 20% higher than conventional one-way charging stations.

The takeaway: Although Link-U has experienced recent research breakthroughs, they are by no means the only company with ambitious plans in V2G technology. NIO, a major Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, is also a frontrunner in V2G. The company plans to update its entire line of electric vehicles with two-way charging capabilities.

EVs are a frontier technology, yet the race has already begun to build the frontier’s frontier.