Oct 17, 2008 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Rocky Mountain Institute's Smart Garage Charrette in Portland last week assembled over 60 people from a broad range of organizations and companies to talk about plug-in cars and the grid. Public pages for the event, including the list of attendees, start at http://www.move.rmi.org/capabilities/smart-garage.html . The event took participants through a discovery process focusing on thinking deeply about attributes and obstacles to get to new solutions. The result could be several distinct new business models and campaigns, including projects around battery economics, market development, coordinated regional activities, new incentives and standards development.
Below we include the summary article by the Matter Network. To do justice to the subject, we encourage you to click through to the online version of this report, which includes links to several must-read stories. (Monthlies and other publications may report further on the event. And you may also want to check out to Wikipedia entries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_power_grid and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_line_communication .)
Plug-In Hybrids Rev Up Demand for Smart Grid
Automakers such as Ford, GM, Toyota, Tesla Motors, Nissan and now Mitsubishi are hopeful that plug-in hybrid vehicles will revive their industry. Consumers are equally excited about the prospect of reducing their emissions while drastically reducing the cost of driving, and the government's new $7500 tax credit for their purchase will only add to the hysteria. Utilities are excited about generating additional revenue from existing assets by selling electricity to recharge the vehicles during off-peak hours.
Making this all work will require an uncertain amount of investment in the power grid, including potentially adding more capacity and distribution points, as well as intelligence to manage the transmission of power back and forth to vehicles. Studies by the Oak Ridge National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab, the Rocky Mountain Institute and Regulatory Assistance Project have done extensive number crunching with varying estimates on the cost and benefits of "vehicle to grid" (V2G) technology.
For V2G to reach its full potential, smart grid technology must also be developed to accommodate intermittent solar and wind energy and to manage peak power through demand response technology.
Matter Network and its partner sites have been tracking have this complex issue and the new technologies and markets will seize the opportunity of plug-in hybrids create solutions that will lead to a more robust economy, power grid, and greatly reduced emissions from transportation.
We will be providing exclusive coverage of the RMI Smart Garage Charrette October 8-10 in Portland, where leaders from the automotive, energy, battery, and power management sectors will meet to discuss the steps needed to maximize V2G benefits. Throughout the month we will cover the issues of infrastructure development, battery storage, finance, and vehicle integration options through feature articles, as well as through continuing blog and news coverage.
Here is the first in that series:
Grid Recharges for Plug-in Hybrids
Enjoy these additional articles from Matter Network and its publisher partners:
Cities Can Drive PHEV Adoption A coordinated effort by cities could be the key to building a plug-in hybrid market
V2G: All Roads Lead Through Batteries Using your vehicle as a power plant can boost the value of plug-in hybrids. Industry insiders, however, disagree on batteries' suitability
Big Issues, Big Brains Top thinkers in the automotive and power sectors try to resolve vehicle/grid integration challenges. Is consensus possible?
Live From PDX: Blogging the PHEV/Grid Workshop Today Portland is the epicenter of a critical discussion of how the arrival of plug-in hybrids will change how we use energy.
Renault to Electrify French Cars by 2011 Electric Cars: Coming Soon to a Driveway Near You PHEVs: Will the Grid Be Ready? Upgrading the Grid: The Key to New Energy Tech Balancing PHEV Power Demand Driving Toward a PHEV Future with CalCars.org's Felix Kramer Plug-In Tax Credits Hitching Ride on Bailout Bill Green Building Aspects of Toyota's Plug-in Hybrid News Auto, Electricity Sectors Collaborate on Plug-in Hybrids Are Plug-in Hybrids Eco-friendly Green? GridPoint Raises Massive $120M, Grabs Plug-In Startup V2Green Forget the Pump and Plug In Plug-Ins Could Power Jobs