The U.S. electric vehicle market got off to a slow start, but it is now evolving at a rapid pace. From 2010 to July 2016, U.S. EV sales amounted to 500,000 units. By 2025, there could be 11.4 million EVs on the road.

EV adoption and the demand for charging stations are now transforming how the energy marketplace interacts with the transportation sector, especially in grid operations. In a previous report, GTM Research examined and quantified the impact that widespread EV adoption would have on the grid. Now, in the second installment of this two-part series, GTM Research analyzes the potential for EVs to be a grid resource.

While vehicle-to-grid market models, such as V1G and V2G, have existed for more than a decade, EVs only demonstrated electricity market performance for the first time in 2015 and 2016. “The past 12 months saw the transformation of EVs from a pilot stage to a viable distributed energy and demand response resource,” said Timotej Gavrilovic, the author of the report.

However, barriers still exist, ranging from insufficient integrative technologies to EV customer identification, which are necessary to enable aggregation and participation in an ISO marketplace.

FIGURE: Relative Size of EVs as a Demand Resource in 2015


“Despite recent successes, much uncertainty still exists, making it exceptionally difficult to predict the future," said Gavrilovic. "Whether EVs will provide 0.5 gigawatts (conservative scenario) or 5 gigawatts (high scenario) of capacity to markets in the U.S. [by 2025] will depend on how well aggregators, utilities, technology providers and policymakers can integrate EVs with other technologies to best respond to changing grid conditions.”

Enterprising players in this emerging marketplace will find opportunities and partners specific to each ISO/RTO territory through focused solutions. Market players can also glean broader insight from pilot programs.

“Compared to other end uses and many DER technologies, EVs have significant advantages, but most importantly, they possess very significant potential -- more than 10 gigawatts of demand by 2025 that can be actively managed to provide resources back to the grid,” Gavrilovic said. “Similar to the implementation of other distributed energy resources, partnerships and planned integration with other technologies such as energy storage are key.”


Learn more about GTM Research’s report, Electric Vehicles as a Grid Resource, looking at the precedents and future potential of EV participation in energy markets. The report presents market valuations based on past performance in pilots, as well as a forecast of the peak shedding potential of aggregated EV participation.