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Clean Energy Ministerial 5 (CEM5)

12–13 May 2014, Seoul, Korea

Electric Vehicles Integration in Power Systems – Challenges and Innovative Possibilities


The number of electric vehicles (EVs) globally is expected to grow significantly over the next decade as technologies improve, prices fall, and demand grows for low-emissions transportation choices. The large-scale integration of these EVs into electric grids presents unique challenges and opportunities. If clustered and unmanaged, EV charging could increase stress on already strained power distribution networks and raise the risk of cascading grid failures. EV mobility can make it difficult to accurately forecast grid loads and ensure proper assignment of charging costs. Vehicle tracking technologies could improve forecasting and payment but might also raise consumer privacy concerns.

Yet, at the interface with power systems, large-scale EV integration brings innovative possibilities such as serving as distributed storage resources, assisting demand management and, when integrated with other distributed energy resources like solar PV, an integral part of resilient microgrid systems. While a number of firms, policy makers, and others have begun to investigate these possibilities, the incentives and policy supports to encourage large-scale EV participation in power systems are not yet in place.

This roundtable discussion will focus on both the challenges and the possibilities created by EV integration. Participants will consider the key technology, policy and market-design elements that encourage innovation at the EV-power system interface as well as how capitalizing on these might open up new business models and systems configurations that can address barriers to further and faster EV deployment.

View the pre-read presentation. 

Discussion Topics

  • What are the most critical challenges for large-scale deployment of EVs in power systems?
  • Which technologies, practices, and policies hold the greatest promise for managing EV charging and proper assignment of charging costs, while protecting consumer privacy?
  • How can international standards for integration of EVs with electricity networks be facilitated for international harmonization?
  • What constructive roles could organized EV charging play in the operation of power markets? In integrating renewable energy? In encouraging resilient micro-grids?
  • What is the experience of CEM countries where direct load control has been deployed?
  • What are the emerging business models at the EV-power system interface? How are their benefits, costs, and risks allocated?
  • How can policymakers create better incentives?
  • What unique challenges and opportunities arise in emerging economies for EV integration?
  • What are priority areas for public-private coordination?
  • How should energy criteria and mobility schemes figure into urban planning and sustainable cities?