Smart Grid market research

The Networked EV: The Convergence of Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles

This year marks a turning point for electricity as a transportation fuel for passenger vehicles. Automakers are sending electric vehicles (EVs) to market with global penetration forecasted to increase more than five-fold by 2016. The implications for electric power players and utilities are enormous, as the requirements of commercial EV adoption will inevitably burden existing electric power infrastructure. Given this reality, utilities are seeking out smart grid technology solutions to ensure grid reliability along with generation capacity by activating a digital dialogue between the grid and the EV.

Figure: Five Steps of Smart Grid Upgrades to Support EVs

Source: GTM Research

This report examines in detail the technology and planning considerations that will enable a successful smart grid-EV convergence. The report analyzes hot button issues such as transformer build-out and advanced metering (AMI) and charging infrastructure, but also expands the conversation beyond these known challenges to highlight emerging smart grid solutions for the EV market. These solutions include communications standards and protocols that act as the "digital handshake" between the grid and the EV, as well as distribution automation (DA) technologies that will enable a more self-aware grid capable of autonomously self-correcting based EV consumption patterns and moment-to-moment grid conditions.

Figure: The Price Spread of a "Gallon" of Electricity vs. a Gallon of Gasoline (est.)

Note: Click on image above for a link to larger version
Source: GTM Research

Download the report's brochure for a complete Table of Contents and List of Figures as well as more in-depth information on the report's analysis.

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Report Author


David Leeds directs the smart grid research practice at GTM.  Mr. Leeds has guest lectured on the subject at MIT, Stanford, and The Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania). He has been quoted as an expert by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post; his perspective pieces have appeared in a variety of publications including BusinessWeek, Power Magazine and Fortune.  He is the author of the groundbreaking report “The Smart Grid in 2010,” which has been downloaded more than 10,000 times.

An avid world-traveler, David has come into contact with many of our most pressing environmental and social challenges. His research, focused on the convergence of IT, telecom and energy networks, leads him to believe that a smarter future is possible if we can reinvent our collective relationship with energy. Mr. Leeds completed his degree in international business and finance at Trinity College at Oxford (U.K.) and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He lives and works in New York City.

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value added elements

  • Market, regulatory and cost drivers propelling EV adoption globally.
  • EV sales forecast through 2016, with EV penetration by state for the U.S.
  • Analysis of EV planning considerations for utilities, including: charging impacts on load, substation planning, retail rate design, business case for EV integration, etc.
  • Strategic positioning of smart grid technologies (i.e., distribution automation, communications standards) for EV roll-out and grid reliability.

strategic inquiries

  • How have global market trends such as gasoline prices, regulatory influence, and auto innovation positioned key EV markets?
  • Which global region will see the largest share of the EV market through 2016?
  • What will be the best utility practices for integrating commercial EV adoption into local grids?
  • Which smart grid technologies will see the greatest opportunity in the EV market and, how are these smart grid technologies already serving the EV sector?

contact: Tate Ishimuro

Phone: 646.719.1380