Today, the grid would be unable to cope if a large number of commuters arriving home plugged in their cars more at the same time to recharge them. Yet if those same cars were recharged at three o’clock in the morning, when demand is low, it would benefit both consumer (who would get cheap power) and producer (who would be able to sell otherwise wasted electricity.)
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3. Business Case
6. Success Factors
7. Next Steps
Navigate this Report
Back to Electric Vehicle Index
3. Business Case
6. Success Factors
7. Next Steps
- Due to energy security concerns, President Obama has called for bringing one million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the road by 2015. To make this a reality, we must prepare the smart grid for this plug in hybrid electric vehicle load. If we get a million electric vehicles on the road the impact in areas like California and the Northeast, where they’re going to be sold, will be dramatic. Managed charging is not a desirable, it’s a critical, mandatory thing we’ve got to achieve.
- The upgrade to the 240V/30A connection that is needed for "fast charging" is going to cost roughly $1500-$2000 per home, but guess what? Anyone that buys an electric vehicle is going to want one of these outlets. We live in the age of broadband, and nobody is going to accept the charger equivalent of a dial-up connection for their car. We have to expect that these loads increasingly will be part of the overall equation; it is only through smart grid technologies and systems that we will have a chance to flatten the overall load curve in attempting to keep electricity affordable and meeting our other societal commitments in the face of skyrocketing EV charging loads.
- Utilities will need to have real-time insight into what is happening on their distribution grids down to the transformer level. Having some kind of Distribution Management System (DMS) in place will be the only way grid operators will be able to spot, or to know in advance, if a circuit is overloaded or experiencing any difficulties that could lead to wider disturbances. A mass rollout of EVs without smart grid would be inviting serious trouble.
- How can we maintain the reliability of the electric system if we have a million plugged-in electric cars drawing electricity off the system at different hours of the day? How do we provide incentives for vehicles to charge during off peak hours? Is it a simple price signal or something more?
- The Electric Vehicle probably represents the highest unpredictable residential load. This is a challenge as the consumer will want to choose when to charge (or when charging should be complete) and the utility will want to manage the load per transformer, especially as we move towards fast charging. This requires intelligence and prioritization both in the EVSE and the meter while making it transparent to the user.
- Without an integrated communications infrastructure and corresponding price signals, handling the increased load of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles would be exceedingly difficult and inefficient. Smart Chargers, enabled by the Smart Grid, will help manage this new energy device on already constrained grids and avoid any unintended consequences on the infrastructure.
- PHEV add a significant load, but it is comparable a typical household. Typical U.S. households consumed approximately 11,000 kWh annually in 2001. The addition of a PHEV with 5–10 kWh of useable battery capacity that is charged once per day could add an additional 21–43% (2200–4600 kWh) per year to the household electricity load, comparable to average central air conditioning and refrigeration loads.
- ECA - Energy Cost Application – Calculates HAN Device energy consumption cost. The application may use information from multiple sources including:
- The AMI Meter(s)
- The AMI System
- Customer HAN Gateway
- Other application(s)
- Other HAN device(s)
- Human Machine Interface(s) (HMI)
In addition to the safety concerns, EVSEs will, depending on their level of intelligence, ease the integration of plug-in vehicles into the grid and offer consumer benefits. Simple EVSEs can control charging start time. More complex units enable variable charge control based on pricing or grid loading process user identification and payment; handle vehicle-specific metering; enable vehicle diagnostic reporting; and in the future will control vehicle-to grid capacity, among many other novel, and as yet unimagined functions.
In October 2011, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen agreed to use HomePlug GreenPHY as the communication protocol for smart charging. This approach will facilitate integration of the electric vehicle into future smart grid applications.
It also provides a set of communication requirements for use with various load management and rate programs that will be established by utility companies related to the charging of plug-in electric vehicles. The various utility programs will enable consumers to charge their vehicles at the lowest cost during off-peak hours, and helps the utilities reduce grid impacts by minimizing electric vehicle charging during peak periods.
3. Business Case
- Analyst John Gartner of Pike Research anticipates that a growing need for “intelligent management” of electric vehicle charging will create a $297 million industry in the U.S. as of 2015. That forecast encompasses the market for tech ranging from applications, servers, networking equipment and other hardware, to ongoing services for collecting and monitoring data about vehicle charging. Globally, he expects revenue from EV management to climb to $1.5 billion in 2015, up from $383 million in 2010.
- Widespread consumer charging of PHEVs during peak periods in the day, for example, could increase peak load and increase utilities’ operational costs. The development of a Smart Grid is therefore vitally important to utilities, since it entails the intelligence to send signals to consumers on when to charge their vehicles or provide differentiated rates to encourage off-peak charging.
- To manage limited range and long charge time, the electric car must be smart
- Learn typical travel routines
- Up to date on travel plans
- Interact with grid and decide at real time if it can help or if it needs help
- Have up-to-date charge stations and optional locations Recommend best course of action Information cached while in your garage
- Know if to charge or discharge into house/work/hotel Process dynamic pricing information from charge station
- Integrate with spouse car to plan daily and weekly charging Keeps up to date on your weekend plans Talk to your refrigerator
- Use weather forecast to predict Relying on house solar Home energy needs
- Manage credentials and repel attacks
- In the new world of plugs-ins, your car should be able to sell energy you don't need back to the grid during times of peak power demand, such as in late summer afternoons, when both office buildings and homes are running air conditioning. Today, that peak demand is served by older, usually dirtier and less-efficient "peaker" generators that utilities fire up when needed. A national fleet of a million or more EVs, most sitting idle roughly 90 percent of the time, could serve as a massive national storage device that can be tapped as needed to meet peak demand.
- When the customer plugs the PEV into the grid at a location different from their “home” location, different scenarios will address who and how the PEV charging will be accounted for and billed. These roaming scenarios include:
- The customer connects their PEV to the energy portal at another premise. The premise customer pays for the energy use.
- The customer connects their PEV to the energy portal at another premise. The PEV customer pays for the energy use directly with the utility, such as with a credit or debit card. In this scenario, the customer would get billed at the rates in their PEV tariff.
- The customer connects their PEV to the energy portal at another premise outside the enrolled utility's service territory. In addition to the previous 2 scenarios, the customer could become a “guest” of the external utility and pay rates as such a guest, or could indicate the PEV program they are enrolled in at their “home” utility, and pay those rates. The external and “home” utilities would then make a settlement between them on any differences.
- The customer with a PEV that is not enrolled in any program (or cannot prove enrollment) connects their PEV to the energy portal at another premise. Either private party arrangements would be needed (first scenario) or “guest” arrangements (third scenario) would be used for payment.
- The customer connects their PEV to the energy portal at a public location, multi-family dwelling, or workplace infrastructure. Either private party arrangements (first scenario) or direct utility interactions (second scenario), or “guest” arrangements (third scenario) would be used for payment.
EPRI estimates the per-vehicle cost overhead for PLC transceiver is about $20 per vehicle in the near term, reducing to $10 per vehicle longer term, as PLC is already a very widely deployed technology. On the PLC to X bridge aspect, the X in most cases is ZigBee, but WiFi (802.11x-based) is also rapidly emerging as the HAN contender. The per-unit PLC/ZigBee or PLC/WiFi chipset prices vary between $10 and 20 per unit as well.
Given that there are likely to be 1.2 charging stations long term for every PEV sold, the per-PEV PLC to X bridge costs will run to $12 to $24. Therefore, the per-PEV infrastructure costs will run to between $25 and 50 for long-term and short-term volumes respectively. Assuming 2030 PEV installed base volume to be about 10 million vehicles, the cost of deploying Smart Grid infrastructure will approach $250 million ($25 per unit times 10 million
vehicles) in 2030.
- Utility Gains
- Reduced grid stress
- Aggregated Distributed Applications can be “loads as resources” to help with renewable integration
- Robust anti-islanding
- Shared benefits with vehicle owner and manufacturer (like HVAC incentive programs)
- Lower-cost ‘electric fuel’
- Greener vehicle
- Grid-tied (V2G) See Blog
- Reduced-cost charging for vehicle customer
- Green product-line enhancements
Smart Charging Helps – If Done Right
Badly Managed Charging Worse than Uncontrolled Charging Source: EPRI
- Fast Charging- Simultaneous fast charging of a significant number of EVs, directly from the grid, will impact on the grid and local distribution particularly at the peak generation period. Fast Charging equipment can charge at up to 500V and 125 amps, or 62.5 kilowatts (kW). Charging just one vehicle at this rate is equally to approximately 43 vehicles being charged via Level 1 (aka standard household current) or 9-18 vehicles at Level 2 using charging equipment. Complicating matters is that DC charging is by necessity immediate – delaying a 15-30 charge defeats the entire purpose. Plus, these charge locations are likely to be at truck stops, gas stations, or mini-marts, which aren’t places that most folks plan on spending a lot of time.
While DC charging is a much bigger drain on the grid, charging stations won’t ordinarily be placed to impact residential transformers or transmission lines But if fast charge spots are connected to substations that experience peak demand, the potential for making a bad situation worse exists. For example, in California, the average peak demand per household in most service territories is between 1.3 and 1.9 kW, so one DC charging station is tantamount to about 30-45 houses.
Fast charging stations will need to be planned to reduce any grid impacts, and located in areas where distribution networks can cope or are able to be reinforced. An alternative is to provide local energy storage (e.g. batteries or flywheels) at the charging station. These could be trickle charged from the grid at times of low grid utilization, and provide high energy transfer rates direct from the local storage. The capital cost of the charge stations is likely to be higher using this technique, although this could be balanced by the reduced need for grid reinforcement.
If a consumer wants to charge her EV at 4pm on a hot afternoon, is a fast charge permitted at a full rate, partial rate (and how does that impact how much she pays?), or is it delayed? Whatever the choice, someone’s not going to be happy.
- Local Power Distribution Issues - There’s plenty of aggregate power capacity, but not in local areas. Five plugged in PEVs on the same street plugged can create a problem. They also need to verify and measure value –utilities want to pay incentives for verifiable conformance to load management programs. EVs are likely to be owned and used in city centers. These clusters of EVs could potentially all connect to the grid simultaneously, which may require the local distribution system to be reinforced. A detailed analysis of the local situation regarding distribution should be carried out in these areas, along with a series of pilot studies to assess the real-life effects of vehicle charging.
- Consumer Preferences - For consumers the preferred time (without any incentives to change their preference) is likely to be as soon as they are within easy access of a plug. This is both most convenient since they are at the vehicle already, and also improves their options since they may need the vehicle soon and would prefer a more fully charged battery.
- PEV Charging Needs to be Managed in Non AMI Territories - Hydro Quebec and large segments of United States will not deploy AMI anytime soon –but desire alternative options for load management of PEVs (i.e. OnStar) PLC offers several options capable of vehicle communications including: Eaton Smart Outlets with Home Heart Beat System, and Car Connect (Cordset Adapter)
- Regulatory Constraints - Currently regulations do not permit electricity to be resold. This means that all the accounting and settlement issues must be handled by utilities (or energy service providers) without the middleman reseller as is the normal market method. This puts the burden on the utility to manage the complex accounting and settlement processes usually handled by credit card companies or other retail accounting providers. However, if regulations were to change to allow the unbundling of electricity so that stored electricity could be resold, then the accounting model would change dramatically, since normal retail methods could be used.
- Pricing Constraints - The current IBP schedule does not account for energy savings and environmental benefits that may be gained from fuel switching. Households using PEV's would be increasing their overall energy efficiency and conservation through switching from gasoline to electricity.
- Mobile Billing — it may be one thing for me to charge my EV at or near my home in El Cerrito. But what if I drive to Reno? Will I be able to buy and sell electricity in another state — or even another utility district in my own state? Much like the early days of cell phones, where calling from outside one's home territory resulted in onerous fees — remember roaming charges? — there's the potential for EVs to lose their luster if they can't affordably do buy and sell power wherever you go.
- Visibility - PHEV and EV load is behind the meter and there is currently no separate measurement and control.
- Dynamic Pricing - TOU rate, Demand Response, and Real Time Pricing signals Enabled through AMI would allow customers to recharge vehicles at reduced cost during off-peak hours. Communication of utility rate tariffs to the customer.
- Bi-directional Metering - Allows customers to purchase energy at off-peak hours and sell unused, stored energy back to the utility during peak periods at higher rates.
- Integrate billing systems while roaming including parking lots, work, malls friends
- Public Education - Can customers be encouraged to charge when it’s “best” for the utilities? Requires understanding consumer habits and market expectations.
- Identity Management - Data Collection –Expectations for road taxes and carbon credit allowances –Needs to evolve
- Model Impact of PEV’s on the Grid - Develop processes to model PEV impact on the grid operations along with impacts of other widespread distributed resource impacts (local storage, high penetration PV, demand response as a distribution resource, etc.) – NIST plans to work with DOE to explore the business and technical impact of these widely distributed resources (including aspects of PEV as highly portable demand/storage) on the grid with the objective of mitigating severe contingencies due to the widespread adoption and use of these technologies. Ensure that work includes transactional elements (settlement when charging/discharging away from “home”.
- Ford - Has developed an intelligent charging system that previews how its production vehicles will interact with the grid. The unnamed system enables all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners to restrict charging to when electricity prices fall below a certain threshold, or even “when the grid is using only renewable energy such as wind or solar power,” according to Ford.
Being able to drive “emissions free” could be a huge selling point for the upscale and eco-minded early adopters who will be buying EVs and plug-in hybrids during the next few years. There’s a natural synergy for customers to put solar on their homes and buy hybrids/EVs, who can then drive free of fossil fuel guilt.
In its ongoing testing of converted PHEV Ford Escapes, the company is leveraging communications systems it designed including SYNC, SmartGauge, and Ford Work Solutions. The vehicles are communicating with the grid through smart meters over a wireless network using the Zigbee protocol, but Ford hasn’t committed to a network platform for its production vehicles.
Ford has lined up some impressive utilities to help with the tests, including Southern California Edison, American Electric Power, Progress Energy, and 10 others, which will each receive some of the test fleet. The agreement is to continue testing for three years, which is interesting because the company plans to have a commercial PHEV for sale in 2012 — you might think that testing of PHEV grid interaction would be moot at that point. Ford received $30 million in DOE grant money to pay for part of the testing.
- General Motors' ATOMS (OnStar Advanced Telematics Operations Management System) In July 2011, GM announced the launch of a pilot program that can let utilities and customers skip the need to install physical smart grid points to manage recharging of their EVs. The new OnStar service will act as a remote brain, wirelessly tracking and governing the EV's charging behavior, coordinating the timing and billing, and potentially dramatically lowering the costs to extend smart-grid management features to EVs. GM estimates that by skipping the need to install physical smart apparatus, the OnStar system can save utilities some $18 million per 1,000 customers. Since it doesn't matter whether the EV is connected to a smart-grid charge point, OnStar should let utilities more accurately model how to manage peak versus non-peak charging too.
- Data Gathering - With customer permission, OnStar will provide the utility with overall charge level as well as charging history—by time and location—for the Volt pilot fleet, without the vehicles having to connect to a charging station. This will give the utility better insight for forecasting demand, setting rates and determining the best location for charging infrastructure
- Demand response - OnStar will allow the utility to actively manage EV charging for those who opt in to the service. The utility can then reduce peak loads by offering discounts or other incentives to encourage drivers to charge their EVs when overall electricity demand is lowest, typically in the early morning hours.
For over two years, GridPoint has been delivering the smart grid software utilities require to easily and cost-effectively support the wide-scale adoption of plug-in vehicles. GridPoint, Inc. received $15 million of VC funding in 2008 for their management of distributed storage, renewable generation, and load, bringing the firm’s total funding to over $100 million.
In February 2010 GE and Juice Technologies announced a joint development agreement to create intelligent plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging devices for U.S. and global markets. The chargers integrate GE's smart meters with Juice Technology's Plug Smart(TM) engine to help consumers charge their cars during low-demand, lower cost time periods.
“The primary focus of what we’re doing is, we’re communicating the signal directly through the vehicle,” said Clay Luthy, global distributed energy resource leader for energy and utilities at IBM. “This provides a utility ultimate flexibility to send load-shed signals.”
The connection directly to the car, rather than through a charging station, adds another level of flexibility for the utility to be in touch with the roaming loads in their territory. IBM’s cloud-based platform connects through cellular to the car and also back to the utility.
The pilot will test sending and receiving information about the battery state, which can then help create an optimized charging schedule. Although the issue isn’t critical for utilities today, if EVs take off in the market, utilities will have to manage their loads using more than just price signals. With this system, for instance, the utility system could know when cars have a low battery life to inform predictive load forecasting.
- Connectivity Week 2010 - Plug-In Electric Vehicles
- BERR – UK Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - Investigation into the Scope for the Transport Sector to Switch to Electric Vehicles and Plugin Hybrid Vehicles October 2008
- California's Cooperative PHEV Research Center - UC Davis is the new hub of collaboration and research on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in California. The university’s new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Research Center, administered by ITS-Davis, is funded by a three-year, $3 million grant from the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program
- Yang, Christopher and Ryan W. McCarthy (2009) Electricity Grid: Impacts of Plug-In Electric Vehicle Charging. Environmental Management 2009, 16 - 20
- Plugin2011.com – Raleigh, NC (July 18-21, 2011)