Why EVs are so important to the future of the smart grid
By: SGN Staff
When I first read this guest editorial by a grid/EV integration specialist, I said "guilty as charged." I've often made the very mistake he talks about â€“ namely, talking to consumers about the esoteric system benefits of grid-connected EVs. While failing to acknowledge their much larger, long-term impact. Which, as you will read below, has as much to do with emotional impact as it does with technical merits. You'll enjoy the read. - Jesse Berst
By Beaudry Kock
Thatâ€™s how most peopleâ€™s eyes look once you ask why electric vehicle / smart grid interoperability is important. With a little prompting, most will repeat what smart grid advocates have been trumpeting for years: things like â€œgrid balancingâ€, â€œpeak shiftingâ€ and â€œancillary services.â€
Yet thereâ€™s a more important reason, something touching both grid-connected EVs and the long-term future of the smart grid. A reason you are unlikely to hear from either consumers or engineers.
How to get them interested again
In other words, the â€œsmart thingsâ€ that matter these days are those networked objects and applications which are reaching into the day-to-day and impressing us with their cleverness (think the Nest thermostatâ€™s presence detection), helpfulness (such as Google Nowâ€™s uncanny ability to anticipate your every informational need), or sheer beauty of design (anything out of Elon Muskâ€™s factories, it seems).
If we want smart grid to matter â€“ and truly reach its potential â€“ we must think in the same way. And here is where the connected EV comes in: it will be the most important smart grid-enabled appliance which most people will ever see and use every day. Even the Nest, with its gorgeous touch screen and sophisticated engineering, doesnâ€™t have this kind of pull. Itâ€™s how most people will understand, appreciate and engage with the grid: the EV brings the nebulous â€œsmart gridâ€ home.