Battery electric vehicle (BEV) and photovoltaic (PV) electricity adoption increases in many climate change mitigation scenarios, yet large-scale deployment of these technologies, if left unmanaged, can raise electricity costs by increasing peak evening electricity demand and causing overgeneration of electricity during midday. Here we examine these risks and how they amplify or mitigate each other. We model hourly electricity demand under BEV and PV adoption in two United States cities. We then investigate mitigation strategies that do not require travel behavior change or new technology such as vehicle-to-grid capabilities and networked chargers. In both locations, delayed home charging nearly eliminates increases in peak demand. Workplace charging can similarly reduce peak demand while also cutting the curtailment of photovoltaic electricity by half. These two approaches could be combined to suit local conditions and decarbonization plans. Importantly, capturing these benefits would require an acceleration of electric vehicle adoption relative to current rates.

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Publisher: MIT

Date: March 15, 2023

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