The smart grid evolution has unleashed opportunities for electric vehicles (EVs) thanks to technologies that allow EVs to feed power back into the grid. Utilities and grid regulators are eyeing plug-ins as a flexible resource class helping address the intermittency of renewables and reduce peak power demand.

Electric cars, buses, and trucks can be integrated into demand response programs that reward consumers who respond to various signals, such as time-based rates, financial incentives, or alerts when the grid is strained. Smart technologies can help target load curtailment schemes towards stressed areas, such as those with many EV charging stations, which can shift charging cycles to times of lower load. California is also exploring how EVs can help flatten the much-discussed  “duck curve” - a deep midday drop in net load caused by ample solar generation, and a steep ramp-up into the evening when the sun sets.

Electric Vehicle Trends in 2018

The EV market is maturing thanks to increasing demand, diverse vehicle models, and initiatives to expand charging infrastructure. According to the Edison Electric Institute, March 2018 was the best sales month, with over 26,000 EVs sold. Electric utilities are investing heavily in upgrading the grid and deploying EV charging infrastructure. In 2013, six Northeastern states, California, and Oregon committed to a collective goal of 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2025 in a multi-state action plan. In October 2017, seven Western states announced a project called "REV West” to expand regional EV infrastructure along major highways. California, which leads the nation in both EV adoption and the number of charging stations, has set a new goal of 5 million ZEVs on the road by 2030. New York recently expanded the state’s Charge NY goal to deploy 10,000 charging stations by 2021 from the previous goal of 3,000 stations by 2018.

See Enerknol Research’s full inforgraphic, including recent actions by state and federal regulators and select bills on electric vehicles. 

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