A lot of U.S. utilities are unprepared for the rapid increase in electric vehicles coming onto their grid systems.
According to a recent report from the Smart Electric Power Alliance, many utilities risk being overrun by new peak demand due to a large concentration of EVs, unless they move quickly to update their system, rates and demand management programs.
"Further, many utilities do not want to just serve this new load — they want to take advantage of EVs as a distributed energy resource with the ability to modulate charge (i.e., managed charging), or even dispatch energy back into the grid (i.e., vehicle-to-grid)," SEPA noted. "Utilities need to understand and leverage distributed energy assets, including EVs, as grid assets to allow for greater penetration of renewable energy — among many other benefits."
In the third and final segment of this series, we look at the benefits of well-designed utility EV policies, the risks of inaction, and some of the policies utilities are already pursuing.