Electric Vehicles

As customers electrify their travel, new energy opportunities are emerging.

In tomorrow’s grid, electric vehicles won’t just take us places, they will provide utilities with a new source of demand management.

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From new energy infrastructure, to new resources to shape energy demands and power consumption habits, electric vehicles (EVs) are shaking up the utility game

Managed charging technologies are allowing utilities to use EVs to flatten load demand, harness new sources of renewable energy, and electrify new portions of the economy. These emerging technologies are also changing the customer relationship with their utility. EVs are providing a conduit for the utility to become an energy management partner for their customers in the home and on the road.

What Are Risks to Utilities?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly becoming one of the largest flexible loads on the grid in certain parts of the United States. While most industry analysts see EVs as a boon for utilities, there are a variety of risks.

  • Distribution planning challenges
  • Inadequate charging infrastructure
  • Higher rates for consumers if infrastructure upgrades are not properly manage

What Are the Benefits of Managed Charging

Through technologies, such as managed charging, utilities could reduce these risks, while simultaneously meeting the needs of customers. Managed charging is a type of demand response technology that allows a utility or a third-party to ramp up, ramp down, turn off, or turn on a charging event through a signal to the charger or the vehicle.

  • Reduce emissions by using surplus renewable generation during times of high charging demand
  • Reduce grid stress and maintains grid stability by minimizing charging ramp rates and reducing the strain on distribution transformers
  • Reduce the need for new peak generation and distribution capacity resulting from EVs charging during peak hours, particularly as more drivers choose EVs in the coming years

Why Is Collaboration Important?

Utilities have never before had to serve a mobile load or needed to understand the nuances and demands of their customers’ driving patterns and habits. Similarly, the transportation sector has never had to think about utility rates — including demand charges, direct costs for grid infrastructure upgrades, or optimal siting of charging infrastructure based on grid conditions. Moving forward, data sharing, enhanced visibility, and collaboration between these two sectors will be essential.

SEPA is working at the forefront to bring utilities, regulators, the transportation industry, and other stakeholders together to discuss the challenges as EV penetration increases across the country.


 

SEPA’s EV Community

SEPA Electric Vehicle Working Group

EV On-Demand Webinars

Electrifying Transportation: How Utilities Should Prepare for Electric Buses

Keys to Unlocking Utility EV Strategies

Utilities & Electric Vehicles: Case Studies from the Field

Can Utilities Offset Residential Net Metering Losses with EVs

The Latest SEPA Research on EVs


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