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The EV’s are coming. The EV’s are coming

Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
  • 254 items added with 91,280 views
  • Jan 18, 2021

The EV’s are coming. The EV’s are coming

CES was virtual, but you need look no farther than GM to see their intent, 30 new EVs by 2025. 3 in 2021.

California requires zero emission by 2030, New York by 2035, Hawaii and New England are discussing 2030/5. By 2035 60% of the US vehicle market could shut out fossil vehicles.

President Biden a team focused on a national ban.

Utility Impact

There are (rounded) 250 million active vehicles in the US. The US buys 15 – 20 million a year. There are 200 million dwellings. At 20 million a year, 10% of dwellings will buy an EV in 2030.

Between now and 2030, EV’s will be sold with the goal of getting to 100% by 2030, so it is likely that it will be something like 1% in 2021, 5% in 2023 and 80% in 2029. By 2029, 15% of dwellings may already have EVs.

We may be looking at 40% of dwellings having one or more EVs in 2035. In simulation of real circuits 5,000-volt class (5KV) have overloading issues at 10-15% EV, 15KV at 25% and 35KV at 30%.

We are on 70 year rebuild cycle historically - we have 10.

Do you have a plan to upgrade circuits?
Do you know how to prioritize?
Have you asked the regulatory bodies to let you over build?
What about substations?

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 19, 2021

Anecdotally, I've noticed in the year and a half I've driven an EV, the conversations people have with me about them have shifted from more wonder-like to asking more practical questions about how they can adopt one as well-- I think attitudes are changing quickly, and you're right: the attitudes at the utilities will need to change with them. This isn't something to just be thought about in long-term far-out ways at conferences on the future of energy, it's something to start implementing today

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Jan 20, 2021

Doug, a perfect article to show the only growth area in the electric power area. This is the best thing that could ever happen to the GRID.  You didn't seem to list all the great things this managed growth can do for the GRID. Here are a few I see already with more coming soon.

  The battery storage improvements for electric vehicles is being used for the Holy Grale of storage in the GRID.  Battery Packs and Mega Packs from companies like Tesla . They smooth out the demand vs production. They allow more low cost distributed renewable power. 

  The vehicles have timers in them so they can charge when there is excess in the GRID.  For years utilities have been offering low Off Peak rates  but no one wants to stay up at 11 pm to 6 am to cook or do the wash. The vehicles can take up the power.

   With V2G Vehicle to GRID and micro GRIDS the vehicles can send power back to the GRID for seconds or hours. They can all work with the GRID.  This saves billions of dollars for expensive Peaker plants. It saves tons of NG to runs these plants for a few hours each day. 

    There are so many ways these vehicles and batteries can help built an efficient and reliable Smart GRID that we can't could the ways.  




Doug Houseman's picture
Doug Houseman on Jan 22, 2021

Jim - Thank you, remember this was originally posted under the 1200 character limit on LinkedIn, and copied here. There is only so much that fits in 1200 characters. I agree with your post, by the way.

Stuart Ravens's picture
Stuart Ravens on Jan 22, 2021

Succinctly put, Dan. If utilities can't supply power to customers to charge their EVs when they want, isn't there a real risk that (where possible) customers will generate and store their own power?

Rather than be the only opportunity for load growth in the foreseeable future, EVs could accelerate customer adoption of alternative sources of electricity.

You're right that utilities have 10 years to react to EVs. They aren't the only game in town. They can't expect set the pace of change; the world won't wait.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 22, 2021

Rather than be the only opportunity for load growth in the foreseeable future, EVs could accelerate customer adoption of alternative sources of electricity.

I think this is an important point, and it's more and more an inevitability. It's an uncomfortable conversation for utilities, but the paradigm of how customers/utilities interact and positioned is changing one way or another. It's going the be the utilities that embrace, rather than fight, this fact that will come out the other side better for it, IMO. 

Doug Houseman's picture
Doug Houseman on Jan 22, 2021

Based on a study (now a series of studies) we have done for clients, EVs are the largest option for growth, but not the only one, EVs represent 40% of the load growth for electricity from full Electrification, we have analyzed 58 categories of electrification. While EVs are huge, heating is the one that has the largest impact on Northern areas, EVs are second (and winter nights are the new peak period).

The ones that are going to be the trickiest to solve are going to be road construction and farming with all electric equipment. We are working on feasible solutions for some of our clients - and they are fun to figure out. 

David Trahan's picture
David Trahan on Jan 22, 2021

Very good statistics highlight the huge challenge the industry faces in its attempt to decarbonize electric production and use. It makes the steep incline of EV adoption seem unobtainable over a 10 year period. Not for lack of interest but for lack of the technology developments to gain full adoption. I like the EV approach, most days (90%) I personally drive 20 or so miles. An EV could easily achieve all of the driving demands for around town travel. Its on those days with 500 to 600 mile trips which cause me to pause. The slow recharge (even with DC-DC "almost fast" charge stations) makes the trip 20 to 30% longer due to recharging time. If we are to have DC-DC improvements it will require better stationary batteries recharging better mobile batteries.

The main product of public and private electric utilities is the electric current produced. The goal of everyone is to transition the fuel from fossil to non-fossil. In order to increase the use of their greener energy product will require utility companies helping to fund research into grid level battery storage for periods of no wind and no sun. Waiting to see if university research comes up with a solution will take too long. Not a put down on university research its just typically slower and many times impractical in its findings. Private companies focused on a commercial outcome tend to solve such problems more efficiently. This is where research dollars are needed now and the electric power generating companies are the major stakeholder in the overall equation. There are VCs working to fund but their motivation is centered on immediate success versus fundamental research.

Total corporate funding in the battery storage sector was up 136% with $6.6 billion in 54 deals in 2020. However, VC funding for Battery Storage companies totaled $1.5 billion in 32 deals compared to $1.7 billion raised in 32 deals in 2019.

Lithium-ion based battery technology companies received the most VC funding in 2020, with $649 million. Other categories that received funding included Solid-state batteries, Energy storage downstream, Energy storage systems, and Flow batteries.

There were 19 M&A transactions in the Battery Storage category in 2020, of which two disclosed transaction amounts.

Prabir  Neogi's picture
Prabir Neogi on Jan 28, 2021

Adoption of EVs and smart charging would probably stay on course in advanced geographies like CA, where customer awareness would reflect climate consciousness. How would the dynamics of EV adaptability and grid functionality be addressed in middle income and / or developing economies (like India) where dynamic or even TOD pricing is yet to have any meaningful impact? Appreciate thoughts on policy measures, regulatory interventions, utility engagement, electricity tariff design and customer incentives that can serve as building blocks.

John Sarter's picture
John Sarter on Jan 28, 2021

Jim Stack is 100% correct about EVs being a mass storage mechanism to levelize supply and demand across the grid. The time is at hand for this to occur, with a new technology that will enable V2X and V2G for all, while also enhancing Solar PV capabilities and HEMS, ( Home Energy Management Systems). 

Doug Houseman's picture
Doug Houseman on Jan 29, 2021

John - based on the very well researched AB 127 report issued by the California Energy Commission. It looks like most people will NOT let their vehicle be used for V2G for love or money. Also most (80+%) want their car to charge at home, at night. So the idea of vehicle offering mobile storage will take education and large incentives. We need to think hard about how to do this. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 29, 2021

There's already a huge changing in thinking required for EV drivers-- not being able to pull off to fill up their car at every exit but rather planning longer drives around where they intend to charge. I'm sure 20 years ago, no one would say in a survey that they would want to adopt a car under such an understanding (and, surely, many of those resistant to EVs still have that as a core reason). But today, some changing of thinking has been shown.

Does that mean that such a change of thinking may come regarding V2G? I can't say-- we might need to focus on one paradigm shift at a time, worrying just about getting people in EVs and not making V2G part of those mental adjustments. But I also wonder if the time at which people are being more open about how their personal transportation looks is prime time to start that education that could start V2G?

Like you said, though, Doug-- the reports being put out there are well researched and backed by expert thinkers who have put way more thought into this than I have, but it's interesting to consider!

Doug Houseman's picture
Thank Doug for the Post!
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