Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Research Facilities

NREL's electric vehicle infrastructure research facilities encompass a wide range of evaluation platform capabilities and leverage energy system integration research and validation.

High-Power Charging Infrastructure and Emulation

The Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) research platform unifies research capabilities at multiple scales and across sectors to help understand the impacts of energy systems integration at scale. Situated on NREL's Flatirons Campus in Boulder, Colorado, the Integrated Energy Systems at Scale (IESS) is one of several field research sites and facilities that work together to demonstrate the potential for renewable energy to power a large fraction of the country's transportation needs in concert with buildings and a healthy, resilient grid. The site includes capabilities that expand to multimegawatt EV charging and grid integration capabilities from the hundreds of kilowatts currently available at NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF).

Also available for EV grid integration research are state-of-the-art ESIF laboratories, which meld crosscutting grid modernization and power system design capabilities in concert with world-class, high-performance computing capabilities.

Electric Vehicle Research Infrastructure Evaluation Platform

Photo of four cars parked at electric vehicle chargers in laboratory setting.

At the heart of NREL's EV grid integration research is the state-of-the-art Electric Vehicle Research Infrastructure (EVRI) evaluation platform, which enables researchers as well as industry and utility partners to study and develop optimal strategies for coordinating EVs with buildings, the grid, and other energy systems. Partners can bring in physical devices including charging hardware and vehicles for performance evaluations under varying conditions, such as through high-power charging system evaluation events.

At EVRI, researchers are developing the advanced technologies and control strategies needed to optimize a new generation of transportation technologies within the context of the larger energy ecosystem. Hardware-in-the-loop simulation capabilities integrate both vehicles and buildings from a charge-control standpoint in the Commercial Buildings Research Infrastructure platforms.

Enabling the characterization and development of building-integrated extreme fast charging systems, EVRI houses flexible electrical infrastructure, including AC and DC charging with a variety of voltage systems; connection to grid and photovoltaic simulators and other distributed energy resources for grid interactivity research; real-time digital simulation (grid- and vehicle-side); and diverse charging and energy storage equipment, including 350-kW chargers, level-2 chargers, and a battery energy storage systems.


Andrew Meintz

Chief Engineer for Electric Vehicle Charging and Grid Integration