Britain’s homes are set to increasingly play the role of power plant this year following the world’s largest roll out of electric car chargers that can sell stored electricity to the UK grid.

Energy supplier Ovo Energy said the largest ever trial of smart vehicle chargers will mean electric car owners “never need to pay for a mile of driving again” because they will automatically store power when it’s cheap and sell it back to the grid at a higher price during peak demand periods.

The chargers are part of Ovo’s VCharge range which also includes powerful home batteries.  These allow energy customers to store, use and sell electricity, whether or not they have their own roof-mounted solar panels or not.

Ovo boss Stephen Fitzpatrick said: “This is the first step in building the distributed energy system of the future.”

He added: “We’re enabling thousands of [electric vehicle] batteries to help balance the grid in times of peak demand, more renewable energy to come onto the system, and households to reduce their electricity bills.”

The independent supplier said on Wednesday it will trial the “vehicle-to-grid” power systems across 1,000 of its customers who drive Nissan electric vehicles before they are made commercially available.

Customers outside of the trial will be able to buy smart vehicle chargers from the supplier which automatically charge up during cheap, off-peak times which are typically during the early hours of the morning.

“Our completely new approach to energy has been made possible by the convergence of emerging technologies, applying intelligence, and years of working with customers to redesign the entire energy system,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

The launch of VCharge comes after a major spending spree last summer in which Ovo bought a string of technology companies to gain an edge in the burgeoning smart grid market.

Ovo clinched a partnership deal with Chargemaster to supply its more than 5,000 public charge points with renewable power in exchange for a free membership for its customers on the EV Everywhere fixed energy tariff.

The company also snapped up charge point specialist Charged EV and of Indra Renewable Technologies, an electric vehicle components and services supplier.