Electric vehicles could provide smart grid services that have been handled by conventional power plants. Automakers and utility groups took a step forward last week in an effort to systematize the communication between a charging plug-in electric vehicle, or PEV, and grid operators.
“A key aspect of the platform’s benefits will be giving customers flexibility and choices,” said Dan Bowermaster, manager of electric transportation for the Electric Power Research Institute, which is coordinating the efforts.
Two-way real time communication between a charging vehicle and the grid would enable a vehicle to be more than just cost for a consumer and load for a utility, as EPRI puts it:
Researchers anticipate that grid operators in the future may call on electric vehicles to contribute to grid reliability by balancing solar and wind generation, mitigating demand charges and providing ancillary services such as frequency regulation and voltage support.
“We see this as the foundation for future developments to integrate PEVs with the grid,” Bowermaster said in a statement. “It can help the PEV customer determine the value of using their parked vehicle as a grid resource, and help the industry develop a convenient, user-friendly customer interface.”