California outlines ‘roadmap’ for electric vehicle integration

The California ISO (Cal ISO) has outlined a ‘roadmap’ designed to encourage coordination between electric vehicles (EVs) and the grid-at-large.

The 44-page ISO report “Vehicle-Grid Integration (VGI) Roadmap: Enabling vehicle-based grid services” was published Dec. 27.

The document, made with the help of various California energy agencies, is meant to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s target of seeing 1.5 million “zero-emission vehicles” (ZEVs) on California roads by 2025.

California is one of eight states looking to boost electric vehicle use.

“Vehicle electrification and smart grid technology implementation present an opportunity for EVs, through charging strategies and aggregation, to support and provide valuable services to contribute to reliable management of the electricity grid,” according to the executive summary.

At a minimum, managed or “smart” charging strategies are needed to ensure that EVs do not increase peak load, requiring additional generation or capacity expansions. Ideally, charging is coordinated with grid conditions and the ability for aggregation of EVs to respond to grid operator signals, the ISO said in the report.

The ISO roadmap includes three major tracks: To determine vehicle-grid-integration value; develop enabling policy; and support needed technology development.

“Many stakeholders report that several aspects of VGI are technically feasible today but knowledge about the economic, environmental and grid benefits is underdeveloped, inconsistent or not validated,” according to the ISO report.

An important element of EV integration is “managed charging,” the ISO said. “Managed charging refers to the technical capability to modulate the electric charging of the vehicle through delay, throttling to draw more or less electricity, or switching load on or off,” according to the report.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) helped with development of the ISO roadmap publication. Through a stakeholder process, various parties on weighed in on issues such as time of use rates; charging levels and EV batteries in stationary applications to provide grid benefits.

With demand flat in traditional electric markets, generators are increasingly looking at electric vehicles as a means for potential market growth.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at