EPRI Announces Plans to Facilitate Growth of EV Charging Infrastructure
According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), increasing loads associated with electric vehicle charging will begin to put pressure on the nation’s power grid over the next few years.
In response, EPRI has announced a three-year initiative, called “EVs2Scale2030,” designed first to “ease the transition to scale,” then “get to scale,” and then finally “sustain that scale.”
According to EPRI, “Transitioning the entire U.S. on-road transportation system of 270 million cars, buses, and trucks to run on a new ‘fuel’ is unprecedented—it’s challenging for the auto and trucking industry and for the utility industry.”
In the past few years, governments and industry have become increasingly aligned on vehicle electrification goals for 2030. The U.S. federal government, several states, and all the major U.S. automakers (plus many global ones) are now aiming for 50 percent EV market share by 2030 and have committed hundreds of billions of dollars to battery and EV manufacturing.
However, according to EPRI, it is not yet clear to the utility industry or to regulators what the pace of action and investment should be each year, and year over year, to prepare the grid, support charger installations and grid interconnects for consumers and fleets, and provide the highest possible level of reliability and resilience in the resulting grid.
This is where “EVs2Scale 2030” comes into play. With a June 2023 launch, the initiative will develop a timeline of anticipated EV loads down to the distribution circuit level, along with processes and tools to help standardize the interconnection and serving of new transportation loads.
“’EVs2Scale2030’ has been designed to address these challenges head on and in so doing contribute key new learning, such as: costs, lead times, and workforce requirements to support 2030 goals; electric transportation programs that are meaningful for underserved communities;
requirements to operate and maintain highly reliable public EV chargers; and leading practices for EV evacuations and resilience during widespread power outages,” said EPRI.
The initiative has three objectives:
1 – Enable the utility industry and its regulators to be in lockstep with vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators, and consumers to build confidence in achieving 2030 goals.
2 – Enact systems and processes that support the pace of activity and investment required.
3 – Develop and optimize the tools and technologies required to enable EVs at scale and capture the grid benefits of this large and flexible load.
EPRI’s initiative will utilize an approach with three pillars:
Pillar 1: Coalitions and Roadmaps: The outcomes from this pillar will frame the 2030 challenge by creating a definitive and multi-stakeholder 50-state roadmap that lays out year-over-year industry/government-driven vehicle electrification goals, charging infrastructure and grid
needs, lead times, costs, and workforce requirements.
Pillar 2: Structural System Reforms: This pillar will seek to address the issues of scale by conducting work to strengthen the standards used to deploy, operate and maintain EV charging infrastructure, and establish (or streamline) processes to enable the pace of action required.
Topics will include grid interconnection, charger maintenance and reliability, affordability, equity, workforce development, and regulations.
Pillar 3: Unifying Tools and Pilots: This work will deliver a set of tools and pilots critical to meeting large-scale electrification objectives, and will include establishing an online grid interconnect “exchange,” driving the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC) project (in collaboration with EEI) to implementation and in coordination with USDOT’s National EV Infrastructure Project (NEVI), and validating best practices for EV resilience/evacuation at scale during widespread outages.