Electric Vehicles and the Future of Utilities


Published In: EnergyBiz Magazine November / December 2011


I READ BILL GATES' OBSERVATION about batteries in a book review of Daniel Yergin's new opus, The Quest.

Gates has pointed out that all the batteries in the world can store no more than 10 minutes of the world's energy needs. Increase that capacity exponentially and renewables will become pervasive - and a source of baseload generation. In addition, improved energy storage capabilities would transform transportation and sharply reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

A breakthrough in battery technology would also advance the smart grid revolution.

The startup company Better Place is ready to start widely deploying electric vehicles across Israel. The first electric vehicles, made by Renault in Turkey, are expected to be delivered starting the end of this year. Customers in Israel buy 200,000 new vehicles a year. Already, 100,000 have signaled their interest in the EVs.

Better Place and PJM recently studied the impact 1 million EVs would have in the Washington-Baltimore area. Plugging them in on a random basis would require $7750 million worth of wholesale power a year. However, "smart charging" the cars through a centrally controlled network would halve the increase in whole- sale energy costs, according to the study. Call it a smart grid app.

Michael Granoff, a better Place senior executive, said the network operating center will monitor the status of every auto battery in its system and power supply and prices on the grid. The goal will be to maximize he efficiency of powering up the electric vehicles' batteries across the nation at the least cost and strain to the electric grid.

In a report, Israeli Electric, the national utility, said, "In this scenario, an optimal battery-charging plan exists for each car that takes into account the state of the battery, the expected journey length until the next charging spot, and the state of the local and national electrical system."

What about looking at the EV batteries as a distributed energy storage network?

Granoff said that Better Place is working to get its system deployed in Denmark, which relies heavily on wind generation. The first major efforts to orchestrate renewable energy storage in auto batteries are likely to be in Denmark, Granoff said.

Entrepreneurs are already making the connection among electric vehicles, batteries and renewable energy.

Granoff said pulling it all together will be "the area of greatest innovation and disruption in the next five years." Electrifying transportation, he said, is primed for growth. "Job creation will be where the cars show up."

The U.S. Department of Energy is already supporting important research to spur development of high-density, low-cost batteries for electric vehicles to cut oil imports and greenhouse gas emissions while spurring economic growth.

At the same time, there is a good deal of justifiable skepticism about how rapidly American consumers will embrace electric vehicles.

Utilities are now mired in a prolonged spell of flat energy sales. Some are already beginning to explore the role that electric vehicles may play to speed the modernization of their infrastructure and deployment of the smart grid. The goal will be to develop a new generation of energy services, sales and profits.


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Very informative blog. I was

Very informative blog. I was in a thoughtful situation that some measures should be taken to save our energy resources. Energy is depleting and everybody is responsible for it. Electric car is a great invention to save our natural energy resources and one should be very responsible citizen. They are future of our automobile industry. I am really impressed after reading your article. Auto Body Repair Portland


Energy is a thing that doesn't end but it is converted one form to another form. Bill Gates says all batteries in the world can only give 10 minutes energy to the output. The article is based on energy & electric cars. Now a days the car industries make electric cars for better performance & to compete with the car market. The main objective of the companies are to bring a change in automobile sector by making different cars run by energy. The 1st model is invented by Renault. The company is very popular in making electric cars. Mini Cooper Repair Franklin, MA

Thanks for sharing this

Thanks for sharing this wonderful information with us. I like this topic and it reminds me an old article that is the same with what is being discussed here. I appreciate the entire crew behind this and I wish you the very best for this. Keep posting more updates regarding this in your blog. how to increase soundcloud downloads

Nice article. The electric

Nice article. The electric cars are the ultimate answer to ever rising issue of pollution and limited amount of fuel resources. Given the rate at which the fuel is burning out soon it would be hard to get any even by spending a lot of bucks. This technique of electric car will save a lot of fuel for the future generation and as we all know they will help in reducing the amount of pollution on earth. We need to be motivated to opt for electric cars in order to make it a better place to be at. Electric cars are often used. Use of electric cars should be maximized. Porsche Repair Chatsworth

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The startup company Better

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