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Gideon Katsh's picture
Principal Analyst National Grid

Lead efforts to enable large-scale electric vehicle charging, energy storage, and other transmission and distribution investments needed to deliver on clean energy goals.

  • Member since 2021
  • 2 items added with 751 views
  • Sep 21, 2021
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Much of the attention for transportation decarbonization has focused on light-duty vehicles, but medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) represent a significant opportunity for action as well. While MHDVs represent only 3%-4% of vehicles on the road, they contribute around 25% of transportation sector carbon emissions and are also large emitters of other pollutants. Transitioning to electric MHDVs would provide outsized environmental and public health benefits, and there are already policies and corporate commitments supporting this shift.

National Grid and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have released a study of EV fleet charging needs and potential grid implications. This study looks at over 50 fleet locations in an area of National Grid’s service territory and assesses the electric loads from electrifying these fleets. Particularly in areas where multiple fleets are “clustered” together, charging loads could exceed current distribution system capabilities. 

Transportation electrification will be a long-term effort, and there are actions we can take now to prepare for this shift and even accelerate it. There is an opportunity to proactively plan for MHDV needs and develop solutions to meet potentially significant new electric load. Closer interaction among fleet operators, utilities, policymakers, and other groups will improve understanding of charging needs and the ideal solutions to support the decarbonization of transportation.

Summary documents: https://www.nationalgridus.com/media/pdfs/microsites/ev-fleet-program/fleetstudysummaryandinfographic.pdf 
Full report: https://www.nationalgridus.com/media/pdfs/microsites/ev-fleet-program/understandinggridimpactsofelectricfleets.pdf
 

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 21, 2021

This study looks at over 50 fleet locations in an area of National Grid’s service territory and assesses the electric loads from electrifying these fleets. Particularly in areas where multiple fleets are “clustered” together, charging loads could exceed current distribution system capabilities. 

Is this an area that's on the radar of the fleet owner that deters electrification, or are they more likely trying to pursue EVs only to find out from the utility side that there are some complications in this respect? 

Gideon Katsh's picture
Gideon Katsh on Sep 23, 2021

We chose this area because it's broadly representative of our service territory. There haven't been any specific concerns here from fleet operators, but it's becoming known that available grid capacity is an important consideration. National Grid and other utilities have tools to help customers get a sense of available capacity on the distribution network, but over time this could be more complex as fleets rapidly electrify.

Julian Jackson's picture
Julian Jackson on Sep 23, 2021

Thanks for an interesting article. This is clearly something that needs investigation and planning. I also note that vehicle fleets are large investments, and often companies cannot simply replace them with new EVs. I know of conversions from ICE cars and minibuses to EVs, but I am not sure if this is possible with larger vehicles as you describe. Obviously the carbon footprint of a conversion is lower than scrapping an entire vehicle and replacing it. If this was possible, then incentives could be devised by governments.

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