Population Health

January 10, 2024

Powering electric vehicles while finding a win-win scenario for all

Image of the plug-in for an electric vehicleA team of students in the Master of Science in Business Analytics Program at the University of Washington Foster School of Business recently partnered with General Motors to conduct research surrounding energy demands and electric vehicles (EVs).

Their project used telemetry data from California to determine EV charging patterns. This data was then used to forecast the total amount of energy that could be sent back to homes, buildings and/or the power grid through the monetization of EV battery power. After individuals return home after work, they often charge their EVs in the early evening, creating a large demand on the power grid. This is particularly problematic, as these spikes in energy can create “brownouts,” which occur when the need for power overwhelms the amount of electricity available. However, if EV owners were to charge their vehicles later at night, they could sell the power stored in their vehicle’s battery during a time of high need for electricity.

This proposed arrangement creates a beneficial scenario for all — EV users can financially benefit from sending power back to electrical grids, power plants won’t be overwhelmed by needing to charge a high number of EV vehicles at once and can utilize a new power supply, while all benefit from avoiding the high cost of additional power plants and the corresponding environmental impacts.

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