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Due to their significant load requirements on existing power grids, the electric vehicles (EV) market will present a large market opportunity for smart grid hardware, software and communications vendors. As rising oil prices and auto-industry advances engender this EV market, a variety of smart grid technologies are becoming increasingly necessary for utilities to deploy in order to maintain grid reliability and safety. GTM Research forecasts cumulative global EV sales to hit 3.8 million by 2016, which will accelerate the rate of adoption of distribution automation technologies, vehicle-to-grid communications, and new software applications.
GTM Research’s latest smart grid report is concerned with the impact of electric vehicles on the grid and the next-generation hardware and software solutions that will support their successful introduction. At nearly 100 pages with over 70 figures, The Networked EV: The Convergence of Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles is the first report of its kind to investigate beyond the current, well-known challenges of charging-station deployment and transformer overloading to the more systemic, utility-side issues such as the need for increased visibility and control, tiered retail pricing and reliable communications standards and protocols between distribution grid infrastructure and electric vehicles.
“Despite the appeal of electric transportation, presently the challenges facing utilities due to the introduction of EVs are not very widely, or very well, understood,” said report author and GTM Research’s Senior Manager of Smart Grid, David J. Leeds. “Over the next decade, ensuring adequate distribution grid reliability appears to be the principal challenge related to the initial rollout of EVs. A variety of related grid control and protection issues will necessitate a large investment in smart grid technologies, specifically grid communications and distribution automation.”
Recently, the investment in smart grid-EV infrastructure has focused on the face of the EV, the charging station. In addition, major vendors such as GE and Siemens, amongst others, are planning to roll out their respective EV charging equipment in 2011.
“Right now, EV infrastructure investment is centered on electric delivery via the charging stations,” said Leeds. “However, as more public stations and Level 2 home chargers pop up, investment in a new generation of dynamic grid devices will be imperative. Smart grid technologies such as next-generation tap changers, voltage regulators, capacitor banks and reclosers, and the communication networks to support these smart devices, will bring a new level of grid optimization and control enabling EVs to safely scale into the tens and hundreds of millions.”
ABOUT THE REPORT
The Networked EV: The Convergence of Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles examines in detail the technology and planning considerations that will lead to 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 infrastructure 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 on EV consumption patterns and moment-to-moment grid conditions.
For more information on the report, as well as pricing and availability, visit: