Managing Electric Vehicles’ Impact on the Grid

In a Smart Cities Dive article, Navigant Research explains how vehicle grid integration can help prevent electric vehicles from overwhelming the grid

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gradually displacing internal combustion engines. Simultaneously, transportation network companies are gradually rendering mobility via individually owned vehicles obsolete.

In a Smart Cities Dive article, Navigant Research’s Scott Shepard, senior research analyst, explained that while these new technology trends could mean improved efficiency for both energy and space, they must also overcome the issue of power. 

Grid operators have warned for years that EVs could overwhelm the grid distribution system. However, EVs can potentially be leveraged within the grid because their power demands are flexible.

“If optimized, the EV’s power demand could be timed to coincide with renewables generation or grid service markets like frequency regulation or voltage optimization,” Shepard said. “The power from EVs could also be used to protect grid distribution assets and prevent disruptions to grid reliability that EVs may theoretically threaten.”

This is known as vehicle grid integration (VGI), which can be used to manage the grid. EV industry stakeholders are keen to see this move forward. Automakers can use VGI to help cut operating costs as efficiency standards and goals push more people to adopt EVs.

“The investments in VGI would speed its maturation, which can reduce EV costs and speed adoption,” Shepard said. “They would also improve the grid operator's ability to manage a future distribution network heavily reliant on intermittent renewables and demand side management.” 

Read the Smart Cities Dive Article
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