Electric utility executives found EVs could serve as residential power backup sources during severe weather. The technology is still evolving, but Tesla, Ford, and GM are actively developing updates to increase the capability and ability of their electric vehicles. It is estimated that resilient energy systems could be created by combining solar panels, home batteries, and electric vehicles.
The concept of using EVs as a power source is intriguing in itself for electric utility executives. And Pedro Pizarro, head of BOD of Edison Electric Institute and chief executive of Edison International, is among them. The institute powers millions of homes and businesses in Southern California. Energy executives are working to make it easier to connect electric cars to homes. They expect this to happen in the next few years. Despite the existing challenges, experts in the field are filled with optimism regarding this to ensure a robust and environmentally friendly energy future.
Mr. Pizarro’s Edison Electric and other utilities are currently carrying out tests to determine the viability and safety of transmitting electricity from EVs to power grid. The electric grids are facing growing pressure and deformation as a result of extreme weather events associated with climate change. This includes enduring prolonged heatwaves, enduring powerful storms, and enduring catastrophic floods.
Lots of people have bought generators or home solar and battery systems, which are quite expensive. To cater to the extreme climatic changes and grid failure researchers considered using electric vehicles as a potential home power solution.
Pedro Pizarro said, “By soaking up power when it’s abundant and releasing it when it is scarce, electric vehicles could serve as a bigger rubber band to absorb the shocks and manage them day to day and week to week.”
Using more electric vehicles can help utilities and homeowners decrease greenhouse gas emissions by relying more on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, which generate power intermittently. But for now only a few electric vehicles have been able to provide backup power. However, executives at Tesla and other car companies are developing updates to allow more cars to do the same.
Several components are responsible for transmitting information between the truck and the electrical system, appliances, and lights in the home. After configuring the homeowner’s preferences, the system determines the optimal timing for the truck to charge its batteries and supply electricity to the house. However, these systems can be complex, and a few early adopters have experienced difficulties.
Oliver Phillips, chief operating officer at Qmerit, said that, “Over time more people would be able to easily combine solar panels, home batteries and electric vehicles. Put together, those devices will “bulletproof” people against power outages.”
Gus Puga, owner of Airstream Services, said, “Battery-powered vehicles could eventually play an even bigger role by providing energy to the grid when demand for electricity exceeds supply.”
The significant surge in electric vehicle adoption has sparked worries among researchers regarding the potential stress on power systems caused by the substantial increase in energy requirements. Gus Puga disagrees and said, “I believe we’re going to add stability to the grid.”
Even though EVs could serve as Residential Power Backup Sources, it can have some drawbacks. In the auto industry, experts have cautioned that using cars to power homes or the grid too often may accelerate battery degradation, resulting in reduced range for vehicles.
However, some automakers have minimized the significance of those risks. Ford and General Motors want to show how their electric models can be useful to people facing power outages or are worried about blackouts.
Ryan O’Gorman, business development and energy services manager at Ford, said, “It’s really a game-changer. The truck is a giant power source and EVs are large and can power the house for several days.”
Pizarro, chief executive officer of Edison International warned that energy and auto companies must continue to improve the technology that allows cars to provide power to homes and the grid. As the number of people using electric vehicles for backup power increases, he anticipates a rise in the detection of additional issues. “It’s the early days. There will be surprises,” said Pizarro.
Source: A New Job for EVs