By Intersolar North America News Service
At the ees North America Conference this year, new electric mobility-focused sessions branded under the Power2Drive umbrella engaged audiences with a discussion of the convergence of renewables and electrified transportation. All of Wednesday’s Power2Drive sessions touched upon the current gap in EV infrastructure as well as strategies to balance grid demand as EV charging becomes increasingly popular.
In the session “Power2Drive: Global EV Market Development Snapshots”, panelists shared advanced communications solutions that allow for intelligent EV charging and shared industry predictions surrounding the rollout of EVs and the challenges that will have to be overcome as mobility becomes increasingly electrified. A comparison of global progress surrounding the deployment of EV infrastructure was also shared during this session, with current top markets being China, Europe and Japan, respectively.
At the ees session “Power2Drive: Can the Electric Vehicle Flatten the Duck?” speakers explored how renewables and electric vehicles (EVs) can work together to expand adoption of both technologies and provide new grid services that levelize electricity demand and supply. The adoption of EVs is happening rapidly in California — session moderator Minh Le, general manager of energy and environmental services for the County of Los Angeles Internal Services Department, facilitated an in-depth discussion with California-based researchers and utility representatives to uncover the different stakeholder perspectives surrounding this once-in-a-lifetime transformation of California’s power sector.
Ravi Prasher, division director for energy storage and distributed resources at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), posed a big question at the start of the session: “Can EVs provide bulk energy storage at the grid level?” While the answer to this question was a resounding “Yes” from all panelists, it came with a caveat that issues related to policy, infrastructure funding and social justice issues are still being ironed out. Although the details may be murky for now, one important point was quite clear: the panelists all agreed that public and private partnerships are essential to a successful transition to e-mobility.