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Vehicle-to-Grid Integration

NREL's research stands at the forefront of exploring the new interaction between the transportation system and the electric grid, creating flexibility, economic advantages, and opportunities to optimize renewable energy use.

Photo of a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station

Our work focuses on building the infrastructure and integration needed for vehicles—primarily electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles—and the grid to work together and benefit each other.

Electric Vehicles

NREL's research on electric vehicle (EV) grid integration examines the interaction between electric vehicles, building energy systems, utility grids, and renewable energy sources. We work with automakers, charging station manufacturers, and utilities to test control systems and technologies that allow EVs to communicate with the smart grid and play an active role in building and grid management.

Learn more about NREL's electric vehicle grid integration research.


  • Smart grid interface monitor and controls
  • Alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) research electrical distribution buses
  • Plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging station with four parking spaces
  • Solar tree with tracking system (~20 kilowatts)—enough energy to deliver more than 300 electrified miles per day
  • Load simulation
  • Two DC fast chargers—up to 150 kilowatts
  • Community energy storage system
  • Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) from multiple vendors
  • Low-power DC charging facilities for integrating with building DC power networks


Photo of a large blue utility truck in a laboratory

Pacific Gas & Electric

NREL is performing testing and analysis on a PEV utility truck that has approximately 30 miles of all-electric range and is capable of exporting up to 120 kilowatts of power to the grid.

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Photo of two men working on testing electric vehicle technologies


NREL is collaborating to find new and better ways to integrate PEVs into the power grid.

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Tony Markel

Principal Engineer | 303-275-4478

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure

What Our Partners Say

“NREL (has) capabilities that in a lot of ways are ahead of the curve. As a car manufacturer, I want to concentrate on vehicle engineering and powertrain engineering, and [I] have the ability to do that. But I don’t necessarily want to test the hose on a hydrogen station. That’s out of my domain.”

- Tim McGuire, Project Manager, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America

NREL researchers are developing tools and technologies to help expand hydrogen refueling infrastructure nationally. Research ranges from technical challenges such as testing new hydrogen fueling methods to outreach, education, and improving user experience at hydrogen fueling stations.

The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) at NREL covers all aspects of a hydrogen economy—from renewable hydrogen production to its use in fuel cells—making it the most advanced and highly instrumented hydrogen technology testing facility in the world.

Learn more about NREL's hydrogen and fuel cell research.


  • Electrolyzer stack test bed (up to 1 megawatt)
  • Multiple hydrogen compression and storage stages
  • State-of-the-art hydrogen vehicle fueling station with precooling
  • Two high-pressure, low-temperature (up to 875 bar, down to -40°C) hydrogen component test beds
  • Six-axis robot being used for hydrogen fueling hose reliability testing


Photo of fuel stack hardware in a laboratory

General Motors

NREL is working on a multiyear, multimillion-dollar joint research and development effort to lower the cost of automotive fuel cell stacks through improvements in materials and manufacturing.

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Photo of a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL hydrogen vehicle next to a fueling station


NREL is examining the refueling experience for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

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Kevin Harrison

Senior Engineer | 303-815-3721

Team with us to find new and better ways to integrate electric and fuel cell vehicles with the grid

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