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Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Project

Plug-in electric vehicle charging at NREL.

PEV charging in the VTIF. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL/PIX 19758

The Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Project supports the development and implementation of electrified transportation systems, particularly those that integrate renewable-based vehicle charging systems.

Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)—including all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs)—provide a new opportunity to reduce oil consumption by drawing on power from the electric grid. To maximize the benefits of PEVs, the emerging PEV infrastructure must provide access to clean electricity generated from renewable sources, satisfy driver expectations, and ensure safety. Value creation from systems integration will be core to the success of PEVs.

NREL's Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Team develops strategies and models to support the development of transportation electrification and the expansion of renewable generation through:

  • Understanding vehicle use profiles, EV benefits, and battery life challenges
  • Integrating renewable resources (solar and wind) with vehicle charging
  • Developing and testing grid interoperability standards
  • Exploring grid services technology opportunities.

At NREL's Vehicle Testing and Integration Facility (VTIF), researchers collaborate with automakers, charging station manufacturers, utilities and fleet operators to assess charging, communication and control technology, and modify PEVs to play an active role in building and grid management.

Project Highlights

The Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Team works with a variety of organizations to support the development of electrified transportation systems while exploring the impacts, benefits, and challenges of such systems.

Fort Carson

NREL is working with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to develop specifications for a system that integrates photovoltaics, plug-in electric vehicles, and a renewable energy management unit with a microgrid system at Fort Carson, a large Army facility in Colorado. During this multi-year project, NREL will develop critical modeling tools to optimize the components needed to link vehicles to the microgrid. A microgrid that integrates renewable generation and vehicle energy storage with load management components offers energy security, cost savings, and reliability benefits. Through the coordination of generators and loads, the Fort Carson microgrid will make it possible to maintain electricity delivery to a portion of the facility that is critical to sustained operations.

Xcel Energy Colorado

The use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles represents a significant potential shift in the use of electricity and the operation of electric power systems. Electrification of the transportation sector could increase generation capacity as well as transmission and distribution requirements, especially if vehicles are charged during periods of high demand. This study evaluated several of these PHEV-charging impacts on utility system operations within the Xcel Energy Colorado service territory. NREL performed a series of simulations in which the expected electricity demand of a fleet of PHEVs was added to projected utility loads under a variety of charging scenarios. These simulations provided insight into the potential grid impacts of PHEVs, with a focus on total system load, emissions, costs, and benefits.

More Information

View the e-roadway animation to learn how electrified roadways can reduce petroleum consumption and vehicle operating costs while extending the range of electric vehicles.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Publications Database offers a wide variety of documents related to plug-in electric vehicles, advanced batteries, grid integration, renewable generation, and electrified transportation. The following selection provides a sampling of documents from the Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Team.

Fact Sheets and Articles

Technical and Conference Papers

Presentations and Posters

For more information about the Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Project, contact Tony Markel.