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EVs Could Add 5 GW of Storage Capacity to U.S. Grid by 2025

Plug'n Drive/Wikimedia Commons
Plug’n Drive/Wikimedia Commons

Electric cars could add up to five gigawatts (GW) of storage capacity to the United States electricity grid by 2025, as the country’s EV fleet grows from 500,000 vehicles in July 2016 to as many as 11.4 million by 2025, according to a new report by GTM Research.

While vehicle-to-grid market models have existed for a decade, “the past 12 months saw the transformation of EVs from a pilot stage to a viable distributed energy and demand response resource,” said Timotej Gavrilovic, author of GTM’s Electric Vehicles as a Grid Resource.

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Greentech foresees EVs adding 500 MW to 5 GW of capacity to the grid by 2025, at the same time that they could represent “more than 10 gigawatts of demand by 2025 that can be actively managed to provide resources back to the grid,” Gavrilovic said. But whether the upstart autos become a valuable grid resource as well as a draw on increasingly renewable electricity supplies “will depend on how well aggregators, utilities, technology providers, and policy-makers can integrate EVs with other technologies to best respond to changing grid conditions.”

Gavrilovic notes that “compared to other end uses and many DER [distributed energy resource] technologies, EVs have significant advantages, but most importantly, they possess very significant potential.” Yet “barriers still exist,” Greentech Media notes, “ranging from insufficient integrative technologies to EV customer identification.”