Here’s How Electric Vehicles Can Potentially Strengthen America’s Electric Grid

Since this summer, when California was dealing with a heat wave, various industry experts, magazines and media have wondered how the state and nation’s power grid could withstand the strain of electric vehicles. This is a reasonable concern, given that the California Independent System Operator asked electric car owners to limit charging during heat waves. Naturally, the Flex alert that arrived over Labor Day weekend sent shockwaves through society. But California was not the only state to use this measure. In fact, during the summer when Texas reached incredibly high temperatures, Tesla asked its customers to The lone star state to avoid charging during peak hours. Given President Biden’s push for electrification and his ongoing desire to build a zero-emissions fleet, consumers have a right to know if they face a bleak future when purchasing an electric vehicle.


Recent research suggests that electric vehicles will strengthen the country’s power grid and “improve grid resilience and reliability”, according to natural resources defense council (NRDC). The environmental organization also implies that “electric vehicles are not a problem, but a solution to support the network”.

“This means encouraging EV owners to charge when electricity is plentiful and cheap, and deploying technologies that allow EV batteries to not only draw power from the grid, but also provide power from relief to homes and powering the grid during times of intense stress,” adds NRDC.

Related: These are the dangers of owning an electric car in the event of a disaster


This is why the theory is problematic

power lines
Via: Energy 101

Most of the studies that explain how EVs could “boost” the U.S. electric grid use the same argument: the national electric grid has enough additional capacity to support hundreds of millions of EVs if consumers manage the load properly. .

“There is plenty of spare capacity in the nation’s power grid to power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles, according to multiple studies, as long as the load is properly managed,” says Axion.

Readers find an identical premise even in NRDCthe item. “Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found enough spare capacity in the country’s power grid to power nearly 200 million light passenger vehicles if charging is properly managed.

But the term “well managed” poses a serious problem. Essentially, the whole device is based on the idea that users should change their behavior and use electricity during off-peak hours. While some will be ready to get their hands dirty, the question remains whether or not so-called off-peak hours will become peak hours if every electric vehicle owner programs their car to recharge during these hours. In this situation, won’t electric vehicles overload the grid?

Also, how will you encourage customers to charge for the hours you want taking into account their different lifestyles? So far, this whole strategy seems overreaching, especially because it ignores that the country’s infrastructure isn’t ready for widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Various reports also point out that even the current chargers are still experiencing problems and that customers are not satisfied with the services now offered. According to a study by J.D. PowerUS EV users are less satisfied with Tier 2 public chargers in 2022 than they were in 2021. EV drivers gave Tier 2 stations an average rating of 633 out of 1,000 points, up from 643 points in 2021. Instead of addressing these issues first, EV fans and industry professionals are focusing on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which is still in its early stages. stages of adoption.

Related: The Real Reason Your EV Won’t Quickly Charge Over 80%

Adoption of vehicle-to-network (V2G) technology is in its infancy

Charge household appliances and appliances using Volvo's two-way charging
through Volvo

There’s a lot of fanciful talk these days about adopting vehicle-to-network (V2G) technology, but this technology is still in its infancy. Therefore, some hurdles still need to be cleared before its adoption, even if customers are ready to test it.

“V2G adoption is still in its infancy due to various challenges: battery technology, lack of business models, commercial feasibility and regulatory issues,” says Drivez.

The digital publication points out that battery efficiency and durability are two important aspects impacting V2G adoption. “The more energy the battery can store while maintaining maximum capacity, the more efficient V2G will be – but the battery technology isn’t there yet,” adds Drivez. To solve these problems, manufacturers must contribute to both the design and the marketing of the battery. In addition, policy makers and regulators need to create regulatory principles and standards.

last June, SURE and the Electrification Coalition (CE) presented a report that included policy opportunities to accelerate the adoption of vehicle-to-network technology. The report, “Advancing the Adoption of Vehicle-to-Network Technologyurges policymakers to “future proof” electric vehicles and charging infrastructure to ensure the United States is ready to reap the many benefits of V2G.

Sources: Safe2020, Secure Energy, TechCrunch

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