Under the vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concept, electric vehicles (EVs) can be deployed as loads to absorb excess production or as distributed energy resources to supply part of their stored energy back to the grid. This paper overviews the technologies, technical components and system requirements needed for EV deployment. Electric vehicles as a service (EVaaS) exploits V2G technology to develop a system where suitable EVs within the distribution network are chosen individually or in aggregate to exchange energy with the grid, individual customers or both. The EVaaS framework is introduced, and interactions among EVaaS subsystems such as EV batteries, charging stations, loads and advanced metering infrastructure are studied. The communication infrastructure and processing facilities that enable data and information exchange between EVs and the grid are reviewed. Different strategies for EV charging/discharging and their impact on the distribution grid are reviewed. Several market designs that incentivize energy trading in V2G environments are discussed. The benefits of V2G are studied from the perspectives of ancillary services, supporting of renewables and the environment. The challenges to V2G are studied with respect to battery degradation, energy conversion losses and effects on distribution system.