EVs and the grid

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,564
South Puget Sound, WA
"For the Seattle chargers unveiled last month, users will pay 31 cents per kWh during peak daytime hours and 17 cents during off-peak hours. The utility will monitor use at its charging stations to see how effective the rates are at shifting charging to more favorable times. "
Wonder how that is going to fly in a city with something like 5¢/kWh electric rates? My guess is that most folks will charge at home. Maybe the tourists will pay those rates.
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
360
California redwood coast
I can't imagine very many tourists are driving the distance to Seattle in an EV. Perhaps it'll just get more money from the price insensitive people...and those who don't plan well.
 

NoGoodAtScreenNames

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2015
368
Massachusetts
“Many in the utility community are excited about the potential for electric cars to serve as battery storage for the grid. Vehicle-to-grid technology, known as V2G, would allow cars charging during the day to take on surplus power from renewable energy sources.”

As a consumer that does not excite me. While I wouldn’t mind a slower charge during peak times, I would not want to lose some range and burn a recharge cycle on my battery just to give it back to the grid during the peak. With range anxiety being one the main impediments to EV adoption, I don’t think utilities should take actions which exacerbate that by playing with the supply side. Price it higher - fine. Don’t reduce range though.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,629
07462
My career is with an electric utility - distribution and I'm just shaking my head at this, we have issues when temps hit 90deg or a little higher after day 3, overloads, including transmission, dont know how EV's will work into this, or help the situation. To make things even more interesting, many different utilities submit infrastructure upgrades to the state leaders, many of these same leaders are influenced at a local level and these upgrades (mainly sub-transmission) are scrapped due to making decisions based on emotion (not in my back yard) and not by actual facts.
The other dis-advantage I see is the actual cost to upgrade individual residential services, we calculate load using a diversified calculation, meaning on a standard 200amp main service, is more or less figured to use 50amps at any given time, add EV charging and now the 4 homes served by a single 25kva xfmr needs at least a 50kva and larger secondary's to serve, larger xfmr's in the field mean more electric is actually wasted since there is resistance in the actual xfmr when not in use either, multiply that by 1.4 million (thats just my companies customer base) and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Also for a potential back feed with EV, the customer would be on the hook to install the proper ansi inverter that has automatic disconnecting means if grid power isnt sensed to reduce potential on a dangerous situation.
Also add smart metering and now the utility can add additional demand rates due to real time reporting, cut your power and is essentially in-control of many aspects of your life, do you really want that?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
"For the Seattle chargers unveiled last month, users will pay 31 cents per kWh during peak daytime hours and 17 cents during off-peak hours. The utility will monitor use at its charging stations to see how effective the rates are at shifting charging to more favorable times. "
Wonder how that is going to fly in a city with something like 5¢/kWh electric rates? My guess is that most folks will charge at home. Maybe the tourists will pay those rates.
Dont worry, Seattle will soon raise residential taxes to close the gap with .31/kwh.
 
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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
360
California redwood coast
My career is with an electric utility - distribution and I'm just shaking my head at this, we have issues when temps hit 90deg or a little higher after day 3, overloads, including transmission, dont know how EV's will work into this, or help the situation. To make things even more interesting, many different utilities submit infrastructure upgrades to the state leaders, many of these same leaders are influenced at a local level and these upgrades (mainly sub-transmission) are scrapped due to making decisions based on emotion (not in my back yard) and not by actual facts.
The other dis-advantage I see is the actual cost to upgrade individual residential services, we calculate load using a diversified calculation, meaning on a standard 200amp main service, is more or less figured to use 50amps at any given time, add EV charging and now the 4 homes served by a single 25kva xfmr needs at least a 50kva and larger secondary's to serve, larger xfmr's in the field mean more electric is actually wasted since there is resistance in the actual xfmr when not in use either, multiply that by 1.4 million (thats just my companies customer base) and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Also for a potential back feed with EV, the customer would be on the hook to install the proper ansi inverter that has automatic disconnecting means if grid power isnt sensed to reduce potential on a dangerous situation.
Also add smart metering and now the utility can add additional demand rates due to real time reporting, cut your power and is essentially in-control of many aspects of your life, do you really want that?
Much of what your wrote is beyond my understanding of the grid, but sounds like "devil in the details" stuff. I found this article after a quick Google search when I was wondering, as motivated by recent General Motors news, whether we could provide the electricity necessary to power a mostly EV country.

By the way, I've had smart metering for a good number of years now. At first I saved a few dollars by going onto the time-of-day rate plan, but that got exhausting and mentally not worth the small savings. (Price would range from 40+cents to as "low" as 13 cents/kWh) With the family working from home now because of COVID, I'm certainly glad I'm no longer the time-of-day plan. Having an electric stove that you use during the peak hours to cook dinner wasn't pleasant if you are money conscious.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,312
SE PA
I think you are missing the forest for the trees kennyp. You seem to be balking at how the existing capacity and transmission will handle all this new demand, in a world where little to no new generation or transmission is being built, in a tightly regulated industry.

Electrifying everything will require >2-2.5X as much electrical energy delivered than currently. So new capacity and transmission upgrades will be required. But in a steadily growing demand space, the money will be there to build it going forward, esp if the demand growth is gradual over a decade or two, and can be accurately forecast.

I agree that backfeeding and vehicle to grid V2G are unlikely to see mass adoption.

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As for the price of public level 2 EV chargers.....they have a terrible business model, bc people will charge at home, and the equipment is expensive and often vandalized. So they have to charge a markup, and they will still go out of business. Better are such chargers at hotels and motels where patrons can charge for free as an amenity, like free wifi.

The next battle will be a requirement that new multi-unit apt buildings will have to have some sort of Level 1 or 2 charging facility in most of their provided parking, and a tech solution for billing the end user. And then requiring older buildings to retrofit them in. Both things will probably be subsidized by the feds. And good work for the local electricians.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,453
Downeast Maine
If the grid can't handle loads without EVs, then I don't think EVs are the problem...