Why Electric Cars Will Drive the Smart Grid The Network Cisco’s …

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If American are going to pay the costs of building a electricity grid an endeavor will cost billions of they will want an to the question: What’s in it for me?

Right most have no clue. in fact, don’t know or about the smart grid. not a topic of barroom or cocktail except in a handful of places smart meters are being unfairly, for rising electricity

That will likely with the arrival of plug-in cars from automakers General Motors, Ford and which last week that its Leaf. will in U.S. and Japanese showrooms month. Those owners, with owners of the Chevy and Ford’s Focus EV. set to arrive in in the next few months, will advocates for the smart grid for a reason their cool new will need a smarter to operate at maximum efficiency.

Smart Grid Success

The car is the killer app for the smart grid, Robbie Diamond, the president and CEO of the Coalition. a business-backed group lobbies for the mass deployment of cars. A smart grid today’s electricity grid two-way data communication allows utilities to better the grid and consumers to better and control their electricity


Over time, a smart is going to be essential if we want to the full value of electric Diamond says.

Electric will work without a grid, of course, although need a network of charging in homes, offices and commercial to be truly practical. But only a grid will enable car owners to get a separate bill for fuel costs, buy electricity prices are low (typically late at and then sell electricity to the grid during the day when needed.

Reducing Oil Dependence

Beyond deploying electric cars and the grid on a mass scale is by many to be one of the best ways to America’s oil dependence. That’s the batteries in electric cars one day be part of a distributed network of that could store smoothing out the intermittent nature of and solar power.

Electric car say that replacing the oil that now our cars with electricity deliver economic, national-security and benefits to all Americans. A 2009 from the Electrification Coalition it this way:

The economic are all too clear: so long as the cars and that power our economy are on a single fuel source, the of which is produced in hostile and unstable regions of the world and the of which is increasingly volatile, our is at the mercy of events and actors our control .

By contrast:

Electricity represents a domestic, stable, fundamentally energy supply whose inputs are almost completely of oil.

Electric cars, a grid and renewable energy also reduce the greenhouse that are responsible for global

Support for Electric Cars

The between electric cars and a grid is evident from the of companies that formed the Coalition. They include not electric-car manufacturers (Nissan, Bright Automotive) battery-makers Controls, A123) and firms make charging stations Coulomb), but also electric (NRG Energy, PGE) and that stand to profit the smart grid (Cisco, Kleiner Perkins).

Plug-in may be to the smart grid what was to the Xbox: the killer app that everybody to want one.

Jeff Goodell, journalist and writing for environment360

Electric Cars

Consumers to be enthusiastic about electric Nissan took deposits for electric Leafs before the car arrived in a showroom. But they to be indifferent or even hostile to the of the smart grid.

In Bakersfield, Ca. for smart meters have blamed for higher electricity and consumers complained. One sued PGE

Vision for Electric Cars

hopes that electric will help show how the smart grid could them to more carefully their electricity use. As costs come down, cars will have a total cost of ownership cars with internal engines particularly with the of V2G, or vehicle to grid, allowing car owners to sell electricity back to the grid.

explains: The end game is to have cars sitting on the grid, power at non-peak times renewable power, because the blows at night. You’d in your car, and it wouldn’t charging until late in the and electricity demand is low. too, would be low at night.

The following day, car owners plug back in this to sell electricity they need back to the grid, at a price. Utilities will pay it enables them to better their load, deliver more reliably and avoid the of building new power plants.

Smart Grid

To realize vision, tens of millions of cars will have to be This won’t be easy. Of the 250 million cars and light on the road today in the U.S. than 2 million are hybrid-electrics.

electrics will have to more like the iPad the Prius to have an impact.

But if do, watch out. As journalist Goodell writes on Yale’s website:

the most important benefit of cars is that they accelerate the deployment of the so-called grid. In fact, plug-in may be to the smart grid what was to the Xbox: the killer app that everybody to want one.

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