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The Future of Grid Innovation: Electric Vehicle Edition

young african american man filling fuel
young african american man filling fuel

It was a short time ago that electric vehicles were ideas of science fiction. Today, they are our reality, and a vital part of our future. 

With massive efforts to bring electricity to underdeveloped populations, the number of humans with access to electricity will increase around the globe. Pair that with the prediction that EVs will account for half of all vehicle sales by 2040, and we have a couple of critical questions to find solutions for: 

How will our current power grid system handle the increased demand?

How will climate change impact our energy consumption? 

Enter: The smart grid

Dubbed ‘electricity with a brain’, the smart grid is a network enabling a two-way flow of information between consumers and utility agencies. Consumers see real-time data on their energy consumption, utility companies have more tools at hand to prevent things like outages, and smart grids even integrate renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydro into the network.

For consumers, this means gaining a deeper understanding of how their lifestyle affects their energy consumption, and how they can maximize efficiency where it counts. With this type of information and control, consumption levels are estimated to reduce between 5-10%, a reduction that translates into hundreds of dollars saved annually. 

That’s only the beginning.

A new grid service: EV edition 

With electric vehicles making major strides forward, the smart grid service transforms vehicles into energy storage and backup devices with Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology.

V2G returns energy back to the power grid from the battery of the electric car, changing the landscape of grid management. Imagine the possibility of multi-residential buildings decreasing overall energy consumption and increasing energy management with a connected EV that has energy to spare. 

[…] Anticipated EV growth offers great potential for V2G to play a significant role as a grid service. When coupled with jurisdictions that have committed to renewable energy, V2G can be an enabler for carbon reduction.

Kotub Uddina, Matthieu Dubarry, Mark B.Glick

Transforming the status-quo

Major car manufacturers are responding to V2G technology by moving beyond the standard one-way charge to a vehicle’s battery. Ford, Kia and Porsche are a few examples of brands making V2G-capable EVs readily available to customers. 

The ability to return energy into the grid puts the balance of energy production and consumption right in the hands of consumers – unprecedented power that saves money along the way. 

V2G technology exemplifies the innovations available to improve our electrical, and literal, landscape for a healthier world. Whether you’re a homeowner, property manager, or car manufacturer, there’s a place in this journey for everyone and every choice is our opportunity to leap closer to a bright future. 

Electric Vehicle Society is a non-profit, volunteer run organisation. Signing up as a paid member provides funding to help us advocate EV adoption through education, meetings, events and partnerships.

Mark Marmer, Founder of Signature Electric and EV Society Volunteer and Board Member 

Founded in 1985, Signature Electric supports forward-thinking clients to achieve their goals in energy conservation, environmental responsibility, sustainability, scalability, and future-readiness.

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