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Top 10 EV Challenges

Utilities prepare for a bumpy road.

Fortnightly Magazine - June 2011

utility inspection and maintenance, and use standard interfaces such that meter manufacturers and charging station vendors can easily integrate and interoperate.

A central focus of the smart grid is engaging energy consumers in a collaborative partnership to ensure that supply and demand are continuously balanced across the grid. Consumer price signals, demand response, distributed generation and voltage conservation are all key aspects of this balancing act. The emergence of EVs into this dynamic dramatically increases the potential, as well as the need, for collaboration between utilities and their consumers.

Consumers will look to utilities for answers and solutions for EV charging. Residential rates, demand response programs and grid protection initiatives will rely on engaged consumers who are aware of programs and incentives. Whether charging at home or on the road, outside of their home utility’s territory, EV consumers need to be aware of how their vehicle energy will be replenished, and at what cost and timing. For utilities, grid operations and billing solutions will be meaningless unless they connect with the needs and concerns of consumers.

A New Way of Thinking

By embracing a new way of thinking about energy delivery, utilities can transform the top 10 EV challenges into substantial opportunities. The utility of the future must be able to meet the energy consumer of the future where they are—which will increasingly be on the road. Smart grid solutions must provide the flexibility to deliver applications and functionality to all levels of the grid, to deliver energy to mobile assets, while increasing reliability. Doing so will allow the market for EVs to flourish, realizing the opportunity not only for additional electric sales, but for an integrated energy services economy.

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