Rise of plug-in electric vehicles as grid storage application

plug-in electric vehicles

Navigant Research expects the market for grid services provided by EVs will surpass more than US$3bn annually in the US by 2020, focusing on demand response programmes

The electric vehicle market in the US is poised for enormous growth as the use of plug-in electric vehicles as a storage application to support the grid increases.

According to Navigant Research, new plug-in electric vehicles sold between 2015 and 2020 will provide more than 75GwH of energy storage capacity to support North American grid.

The forecast is based on Navigant’s analysis of how emerging power load management programmes tailored to incorporate plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) will use car battery packs.

PEV tech for grid management

Several use cases – including Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s ChargeForward programme –  manage plug-in electric vehicles alongside other distributed energy resources, such as stationary storage, natural gas generatorss and solar power.

German automobile manufacturer BMW has partnered with PG&E on its ChargeForward programme with the Californian utility managing the charging of the 100 BMW i3.

According to BMW, the 18-month pilot running from July 2015 – December 2016 aims to “better understand the relationship between home EV charging and the energy grid.”

David Almeida, principal program manager, electrification and alternative fuels at PG&E, said that the utility sends out demand response (OpenADR) signals one day in advance to BMW servers.

The car manufacturer then sends the signals through its ConnectedDrive telematics programme to participants’ mobile devices and other vehicles.

An additional goal of the pilot programme is to evaluate how plug-in electric vehicles could be used to support the integration of renewable generation.

Further to this, PG&E is testing programs with homeowners that “send signals to customers to increase energy consumption on demand to balance excess generation”. The utility will also look to plug-in electric vehicles for grid frequency or voltage regulation services.

Read more about US electric vehicles and managing grid load.