EPRI Teams With 8 Automakers, 15 Utilities To Create Grid Integration Platform For Plug-In Electric Vehicles

3 years ago by Mark Kane 6

Honda has joined a group of eight major automakers and 15 utilities organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to demonstrate a standards-based, open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)

Honda has joined a group of eight major automakers and 15 utilities organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to demonstrate a standards-based, open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV

2015 Chevrolet Spark EV

The Electric Power Research Institute announced in late July that together with 8 automakers and 15 utilities, it will create an open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles.

It seems that all the topics like demand side management, off-peak charging and V2G could be included on one platform for the whole industry. According to EPRI, the software platform will be developed with global application in mind.

“The Electric Power Research Institute, 8 automakers and 15 utilities are working to develop and demonstrate an open platform that would integrate plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) with smart grid technologies enabling utilities to support PEV charging regardless of location.”

“The platform will allow manufacturers to offer a customer-friendly interface through which PEV drivers can more easily participate in utility PEV programs, such as rates for off-peak or nighttime charging. The portal for the system would be a utility’s communications system and an electric vehicle’s telematics system.”

“As the electric grid evolves with smarter functionality, electric vehicles can serve as a distributed energy resource to support grid reliability, stability and efficiency. With more than 225,000 plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads — and their numbers growing — they are likely to play a significant role in electricity demand side management.”

“The platform enables integration across multiple communication pathways, such as automated metering infrastructure (AMI), home area networks, building energy management systems, and third party entities that aggregate energy management services for commercial and industrial power customers.”

“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.”

EPRI lists 15 utilities and regional transmission organizations participating and supporting in the software and hardware development and demonstration. In total there are more than 3,300 utilities in North America, which indicates how important such a standard could be.

  • DTE Energy Company
  • Duke Energy
  • PJM Interconnection LLC
  • CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
  • Southern Company
  • Northeast Utilities
  • Southern California Edison
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Commonwealth Edison
  • TVA
  • Manitoba Hydro
  • Austin Energy
  • Con Edison
  • CPS Energy

On the carmakers side we see eight companies, among which missing are Nissan and Tesla.

  • American Honda Motor Co.
  • BMW Group
  • Chrysler Group LLC (wha?)
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors Co.
  • Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.
  • Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.

The core platform technology on the first phase of the project will be developed by Sumitomo Electric.

Dan Bowermaster, EPRI manager of Electric Transportation stated:

“A key aspect of the platform’s benefits will be giving customers flexibility and choices. 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. We see this as the foundation for future developments to integrate PEVs with the grid.”

Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda remarked:

“This project is an important step in enabling plug-in vehicles to reach their potential as a valuable distributed resource that can increase grid stability, improve power quality and reduce demand peaks. Honda is participating in several projects aimed at accelerating vehicle-to-grid integration, which has the potential to reduce the total cost of owning a plug-in vehicle while enabling higher concentrations of renewable energy.”

Cliff Fietzek, Manager BMW Connected eMobility Group commented:

“This collaboration will make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to save money by enabling the utility to schedule charging for times during the day when demand for electricity is relatively low. In addition to this collaboration, BMW is developing technology that will allow our customers to easily control when and how their cars charge, and also to seamlessly integrate with home solar power generation and energy management systems.”

Mike Tinskey, associate global director, Electrification Infrastructure for Ford said:

“This innovative platform provides a critical enabler for the next step in vehicle electrification. It’s a way for plug-in electric vehicle drivers to be financially rewarded for their willingness to help manage the electric grid.”

Tim Nixon, chief technology officer, Global Connected Consumer general manager adds:

“One thing that’s missing from most Smart Grid programs is a sense of collaboration. Companies will showcase a meaningful solution, but without widespread acceptance in the industry, its usability is limited. That’s what makes this partnership unique.”

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6 responses to "EPRI Teams With 8 Automakers, 15 Utilities To Create Grid Integration Platform For Plug-In Electric Vehicles"

  1. Blind Guy says:

    I would be OK with public chargers having V2G capability if the chargers were free to the EV user. As far as my home; keep your hands off my EV battery! Maybe Utilities should have their own battery storage buffers.

    1. mustang_sallad says:

      The utilities are obviously aware that EV owners won’t participate in V2G unless they are given an adequate incentive. The question is how much of an incentive will be adequate, and that remains to be answered.

  2. Brian says:

    So, what does Honda have up their sleeves? They continue to involve themselves with this type of work. I suspect they are readying another yet-to-be-announced BEV to replace the Fit EV (in addition to their fuel cell efforts).

    On a related note, I really hope that Honda is planning on using off-lease Fit EVs as test mules for these projects rather than just crush them. If they crush them, they’ll probably lose my business forever (or at least a long time).

  3. Marshal G says:

    Does this mean you could plug in anywhere, and then the system would be smart enough to charge your home electicity account? I’d propose a bill that states if a utility does not offer such a system then they forfeit their legal monopoly on selling electricity. That way third party charging providers could do away with per-session and per-hour billing.

  4. GeorgeS says:

    I can see one scenario where this sort of thing might work:

    Supposedly now or soon in the future Ca. will have surplus electricity in the afternoon when the sun is up…..but when the sun goes down then they get a big spike in demand.

    So if you had everyone charging at work in the afternoon during the surplus, and then driving home with a surplus in their batteries you could plug your EV into your house and help the utilities shave the peak.

  5. Spec9 says:

    Sweet. Where this would really help is with frequency regulation. Sometimes you just need a little extra juice in a certain area of the grid at the right time to keep it working properly.