A new report from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), a nonprofit organization that assists electric utilities with the transition to renewable energy, offers recommendations and predictions designed to help utilities navigate the rollout of EVs.
In “Planning for an Electric Vehicle Future: How Utilities Can Succeed,” SEPA offers the following insights:
- EVs present a chance for utilities to generate a positive image and increase customer engagement.
- Utilities must plan ahead to minimize grid impacts.
- Right-sizing EV infrastructure is critical to efficiency.
- Upgrade costs should be discussed with stakeholders early on.
- Utilities should implement load management, such as managed charging, and should support open protocols.
SEPA published the report in conjunction with SEPA’s Electric Vehicle Working Group and Distribution Planning Subcommittee, which includes over 450 utilities, EV industry players and other stakeholders.
“EVs offer a tremendous opportunity to integrate more clean energy into our fuel mix by increasing electricity demand and utilizing the EV batteries for vehicle-grid integration,” said report co-author Erika Myers. “Knowing that an electrified transportation future is in the best interest of utilities and society, this report loudly proclaims: Be prepared and be proactive.”
Paul Stith, Director, Strategy & Innovation at Black & Veatch, said, “The rapid acceleration in consumer EVs adoption and higher load demand across transit and commercial fleets of medium and heavy-duty electrification will require utilities to focus on developing more flexible distribution grids. This has become increasingly clear, as it can take years to design, plan and build the charging infrastructure and supporting grid assets required to serve concentrated EV demand zones.”