Auto manufacturers are attuned to a growing customer interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) and several new models are in development by most manufacturers, including Honda, Ford, Toyota, Chevy, Smart, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fiat, BMW, Tesla, and more. At the same time, electric vehicle technology is improving rapidly along with EV charging operations and networks, as well as new financial models that encourage the transition to electric transportation. While we are at the early stage of moving toward electric transport, EV adoption is growing rapidly. It is estimated that by 2017, U.S. roads will have 500,000 cars. Fleet operations, which have begun the transition to EVs, will have an average of fifteen percent reduction in their CO2 emissions by 2016.
For owners the electric car is a unique residential sophisticated 'device': in addition to mobility it uses power at home (re-charging its battery) and also stores energy. For many owners, their vehicle has the ability to store more energy on a daily basis than they need for driving.
As we move from first adopters to early adopters, it becomes clear that mass adoption is dependent on a strong and accessible charging infrastructure, which will have an impact on the power grid. Demand Response (DR) represents changes in electric usage by end-customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in the price of electricity over time, or to incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized (Definition according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FREC) in wikipedia)
DR includes all intentional modifications to consumption patterns of customers that are intended to alter the timing, level of instantaneous demand, or the total electricity consumption overall. DR programs are designed to decrease electricity consumption or shift it from on-peak to off-peak periods depending on consumers’ preferences and lifestyles.
The vision of using electric vehicles as energy storage devices for the grid, especially at peak demand and in balancing demand response, has matured and is becoming real. From a technology stand point, vehicle-to-building, or V2B services, is doable. Further, utilizing the vehicles' battery storage capabilities will provide new business opportunities for property owners and managers, as well as personal EV owners.
In a session titled "The Role of Vehicles in Demand Response" at VERGE San Francisco this week, panelists discussed various approaches and how would V2B (vehicle-to-building) and V2G (vehicle-to-grid) affect utilities, customers, and other stakeholders. Speakers included Mike Tinskey - Director of Global Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure at Ford; Ron Mahabir - CEO at Greenlots; Mark Duvall - Director of Electric Transportation and Energy Storage at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI); and moderator John Gartner - Research Director Smart Transportation at Navigant Research.
Today, enterprises are motivated to provide EV charging capabilities at the workplace, mainly driven by employee demand. Corporate campuses have began building charging stations and most offer it at no charge to employees and visitors. In Silicon Valley, employers large and small have already developed charging infrastructures. Further, companies are discovering that fleet electrification can offer compelling cost saving opportunities, as well as support and enhance their daily operations. Joint Venture Silicon Valley Smart Energy enterprise initiative (SEEDZ) partners with local stakeholders and corporate customers to learn and derive best practices for designing and implementing such a complex project. For more information click on Joint Venture Silicon Valley SEEDZ initiative.
With the increase of EV ownership, we are presented with the opportunity to learn how energy users affect the energy systems, how services can be optimized, how fleet electrification would affect energy usage by a company, how the additional load would the affect utilities, their services, demand response, and the impact in utilizing V2B in the future.
Is shifting the charging load to night time and then utilizing V2G in peak demand can demonstrate benefits?
Ford conducted a research and found out that such strategy showed 67% savings in energy consumption. Most EV drivers charge at the workplace, where it is usually free of charge, or at home, usually at night. Although, demand (and therefore the electricity pay-rate) is at the lowest level at night, EV charging has tripled the grid load then. As a result of increased EV charging, DR on the residential side is still being investigated while addressing single family homes as well as multi-residential housing. From a policy point of view, experts say that residential charging at peak should not be limited, although consumers' cost will be much higher than at off-peak (i.e. at night-time). The goal should be to reduce electricity consumption, but not completely control DR by imposing restrictions. In facing the DR challenge, part of the solution is changing human behavior, not just developing and implementing technology or systems' based solutions that would address any possible charging scenarios. Potentially DR can be offered through utilities, aggregators, or the even the vehicle dealership or auto manufacturer.
Standards are necessary to move forward as well as the utilization of open networks versus proprietary communication technologies. While V2G presents compelling proposition, policy and implementation are not ready yet.
1. Ford - In September 2013 Ford announced it will install charging 2100 stations at more than 50 of its North America facilities, plants and dealerships. Ford is the second-largest U.S. Automaker and it announced its commitment to to help grow the VE charging infrastructure. Ford will network the chargers together, gather data on charging patterns and collect the amount of carbon they eliminate. Ford currently makes the Focus Electric and two plug-in hybrids, Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi.
Check Hybrids and EVs at http://www.showroom.ford.com/Showroom.jsp?branding=1&lang=en
2. Greenlots offers commercial networks for public charging applications at the workplace, multi-family residential, parking garage and other locations. Greenlots provides low cost networked solutions in global markets and partners with several car companies, utilities, governments and businesses.
3. EPRI - Electric Transportation - Researching Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) for over 30 years. EPRI was the first research organization to look at the challenges faced with plug-in hybrid vehicles and the first to analyze the environmental impacts of electric hybrids and other electric vehicles.
Read more: http://et.epri.com/ETInfo.html
4. Navigant Research - Provides market research of global clean technology markets and in-depth analysis consulting services. The group combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and examination of technology trends.
5. VERGE San Francisco by GreenBiz.com
VERGE brought together innovators, entrepreneurs, and leading public officials to explore the opportunities and technology advancements in energy, buildings and transportation.