Vehicle-To-Grid

1. Problem: Unidirectional Grid-To-Vehicle Charging   

Fossil fuels from internal combustion engine vehicles as well as electricity generation from coal and natural gas emit greenhouse gases that cause global warming. To decarbonize transportation and electricity, renewable energy sources are needed. Since the sun and wind are not always present, energy must be used immediately or stored. Upgrading residential and commercial buildings with battery storage is expensive and time-consuming. The batteries inside electric vehicles (EVs) provide an opportunity for power without resorting to fossil fuel sources. However, traditional grid-to-vehicle (G2V) charging stations are unidirectional. 


2. Solution: Bidirectional Vehicle-To-Grid Charging

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology provides bidirectional charging for plug-in EVs, battery EVs, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell EVs. V2G provides drivers demand response services with the ability to send electricity into an EV battery as well as sell this energy back to the grid. EV batteries are the most cost-efficient energy storage solution since no new hardware investment is needed. With broad deployment, V2G could improve grid stability and reduce stress to meet peak demand from renewable sources. This will ultimately reduce carbon emissions on the journey to net-zero. Key features include:

— V2G EV charging equipment enables the flexible two way flow of electricity. 
— EV drivers select charging or selling electricity to the grid with a mobile application. 
— Drivers set minimum charge levels, plus view charging updates and history. 
— The charge management system enables and monitors V2G charging features. 
— Drivers save money via credits to reduce the total cost of ownership in participating markets.
— Using EVs for grid storage may impact battery life based on a finite number of charges.

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) expands use cases to include vehicle-to-home (V2H), vehicle-to-building (V2B) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G). The V2X ecosystem at scale can reduce the need for new power plants by tapping into EV batteries as distributed energy sources.


3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the V2G ecosystem include: 

— Charging Station Hardware Manufacturers: Dcbel and Coritech Services manufacture and sell residential fast chargers with V2G features.
— Charging Software Integrators: Virta provides V2G charging integration services for businesses. The mobile app allows an EV battery to remain 70-90% charged. 
— Car Manufacturers: Nissan is the only major manufacturer making V2G compatible cars with the Leaf and e-NV200. Other manufacturers are conducting V2G research and development. 
— Consumers: Drivers must buy EVs with V2G charging capabilities and enable these features. 
— Real Estate: Public and private site owners must approve V2G charging deployment. 
— Utilities: EDF is a Britain utility company that provides V2G charging energy bill savings. Other utility companies globally must develop and implement V2G programs.
— Policymakers: V2G incentives must be developed to spur adoption by market participants. 


4. Implementation

Significant market development is required before V2G can be deployed at scale to meet peak energy demand. Key challenges for V2G include:

1. The adoption of V2G standards by the majority of car manufacturers for future car models.
2. Utility network upgrade costs and standards for widespread bidirectional energy distribution. 
3. Policies that incentivize V2G public private partnerships. 

For car and utility companies that are currently V2G ready, the implementation steps include: 

1. Residential or business customers confirm V2G site feasibility with the utility company. 
2. Customers complete any utility grid interconnection requirements. 
3. Once approved, customers purchase and install a V2G ready EV charging station.
4. Customers signup for a V2G digital service accessed by mobile app and dashboard. 
5. Customers receive credit for energy sold back to the grid. 

Sources:

— Virta, Vehilce-To-Grid: Everything You Need To Know: https://www.virta.global/vehicle-to-grid-v2g
— Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Explained: What It Is And How It Works: https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/electric-cars/vehicle-to-grid-technology.html
— Dcbel: https://www.dcbel.energy
— Coritech Services: https://coritech.com/ev-chargers
— Nuvve: https://nuvve.com
— Kaluza: https://www.kaluza.com
— Nissan: https://www.nissan-global.com/EN/ZEROEMISSION/APPROACH/COMPREHENSIVE/ECOSYSTEM/
— EDF: https://www.edfenergy.com

Electric Vehicle Wireless Charging

1. Problem: Electronic Vehicle Wired Charging   

The lack of public charging options creates range anxiety that prevents internal combustion engine car drivers from buying an electric car. Electric vehicle charging with a cable generates friction when outdoors in cold or wet weather. Although the J1772 electric vehicle charging standard is gaining widespread adoption, driver must still make sure each charging station works with their car. Public charging stations increase street furniture in communities. Traditional public charging stations deployment can create trip hazards for pedestrians. 

2. Solution: Electronic Vehicle Wireless Charging

Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Systems (WEVCS) reduce friction for drivers by preventing the need to plug in. Wireless charging also reduces street clutter and the hazard of tripping over cables. Once a driver parks above a charging pad, the car starts charging via resonant magnetic induction. Automakers and suppliers have agreed on a wireless power transfer (WPT) standard to charge electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. SAE International develops and promotes standards for the aerospace, commercial vehicle and automotive industries. In November 2020, the SAE J2954 inductive charging standard was accepted by car manufacturers. Key features include:

— Wireless signals sent between the car and charging system to initiate and stop charging.
— A charging pad that is about one square meter and receiving pad integrated under the car. 
— Enabling increased interoperability between hardware and software across manufacturers.
— Achieving 94% efficiency compared to wired connections ranging from 3.3 to 20 kilowatts.
— The potential to enable autonomous cars to charge themselves without human interaction.

Wireless Charging Companies:

— Witricity provides 3.6kW to 11kW wireless charging from in-ground placements in asphalt and cement with foreign object detection, live object detection, and position detection.
— Plugless Power provides 3.3kW and 7.2kW wireless EV charging stations. Purchase of the charger includes hardware and installation to upgrade an EV for wireless charging.
— Wave provides fast wireless EV charging for buses with deployments up to 250kW.  

Dynamic WEVCS is a potential future technology to charge electric vehicles while driving by embedding roads, such as highway sections, with charging transmitters.

3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the wireless charging ecosystem include: 

Wireless Charging Providers: Witricity, Plugless Power, Wave and other providers. 
Car Manufacturers: BMW, Honda, GM, and Nissan are all Witricity development partners.
Consumers: Drivers must buy future cars with EV wireless charging capabilities. 
Real Estate Owners: Public and private site owners must approve wireless charging sites. 
Utility Companies: Energy distributors must support standards and interconnection to the grid. 
Policymakers: Politicians must generate policy that allows wireless charging deployment. 

4. Implementation

It  remains questionable if wireless charging will be implemented and deployed at scale. Cost and deployment hurdles must be solved in order for wireless charging to gain traction. Wireless charging requires: 

1. Refinement of wireless charging systems to provide auto manufacturers confidence to deploy this technology. 
2. Wireless charging pilots with public and private partners to get support for widespread deployment. 
3. Assuming barriers are overcome, each site will require approval from public and private real estate owners. 
4. Once a site is confirmed, ground pads will require utility companies to confirm interconnection requirements. 
5. Upon gaining utility approval, ground pads will require permitting, leasing, provisioning, and construction. 
6. The wireless charging system can then be installed. 
7. Drivers can then gain the benefits of wireless charging. 
8. The wireless charging system will then require operating and maintenance by the provider. 


Sources:

— Wireless EV charging gets a boost: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1130055_wireless-ev-charging-gets-a-boost-single-standard-will-harmonize-systems-up-to-11-kw
— Wireless Charging Can Boost Acceptance of Electric Vehicles https://passive-components.eu/wireless-charging-can-boost-acceptance-of-electric-vehicles/
— Witricity https://witricity.com
— Plugless Power: https://www.pluglesspower.com
— Wave Bus Charging: https://waveipt.com

Micromobility Charging

1. Problem: Dockless Micromobility Charging  

Micromobility companies have traditionally relied on dockless parking and charging. This results in cluttered sidewalks with increased risk of fire from charging multiple e-scooters and e-bikes at residential locations. Micromobility service providers face challenges charging and maintaining fleets. Companies rely on gig economy workers to scour cities and charge depleted e-vehicles at home overnight. As companies scale, they pile e-scooters and e-bikes in internal combustion engine vehicles to recharge in warehouses. This limits environmental benefits, availability, and potential revenue. This charging ecosystem is expensive so new charging solutions are needed. 


2. Solution: Universal Micromobility Charging Stations

Companies are working to solve these challenges by developing universal micromobility charging stations. GetCharged, Inc. (Charge) provides micromobility stations for riders and service operators to charge e-scooters and e-bikes. Charge is dedicated to building the largest network of electric charging, storage, and service stations for e-vehicles. These stations remove clutter on city sidewalks and reduce hazards for pedestrians. The first Charge docking station was launched in August, 2019 on Broadway between 24th and 25th street. Key features:

— Charge’s docking charging stations are compatible with most e-scooter and e-bike brands. 
— Universal charging stations connected to the grid can fully charge a battery in 3 to 6 hours.
— In addition to charging, docks provide adaptable micromobility vehicle parking and locking.
— Docking charging stations are installed in private garages, lots, and spaces.
— Charge is deploying over 400 locations in NYC and 6,000 across the US and Europe.

Other Micromobility Charging Station Providers: 

— PBSC organizes, secures, and charges e-bikes and e-scooters while reducing operating costs.
— Swiftmile has a solar-powered charging station with digital display for transit details and ads.
— Kuhmute is a modular and universal charging station for micromobility providers and cities. 
— Duckt combines a dockless and docked approach with a unique locking system. 

Universal Battery Swapping 

Universal battery swapping is an alternative approach for micromobility charging. This solution reduces waiting time since batteries can be swapped in a few minutes. The battery swap can be done anywhere with battery swap cabinets taking up less space than public charging. However, universal batteries face challenges for e-mobility company adoption. When battery technology is upgraded, the charging network requires upgrading so this solution prohibitively expensive.  

3. Stakeholders

The stakeholders in the micromobility ecosystem include: 

Charging Service Providers: Companies including Charge, PBSC, Swiftmile, Kuhmute, and Duckt provide innovation micromobility charging solutions. 
Micromobility Service Providers: Companies including Lime, Bolt, Bird, Revel provide e-scooters in various markets that require charging.   
Consumers: City residents become members to micromobility service providers to efficiently travel around neighborhoods. 
Real Estate Owners: Private parking owners and the Department of Transportation in cities become stakeholders to provide sites for micromobility charging stations. 
Utilities: ConEdison in New York and PG&E in California are examples of utilities that must manage the deployment of micromobility charging stations.
Policymakers: City politicians are shaping micromobility charging policy and regulation.


4. Implementation

The micromobility charging service providers take the following key steps to deploy:

1. Meet with public or private real estate owner to gain approval for charging station project.
2. Once interest is confirmed, meet with utility to confirm project feasibility at the location. 
3. Gain approval for charging station installation construction, trenching, and permitting. 
4. Install the micromobility charging station at the desired location. 
5. Operate and maintain the charging station once up and running. 

Sources:

— Charge Unveils First-Of-Its-Kind Micromobility Charging, Docking And Service Station In New York City:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/charge-unveils-first-of-its-kind-micromobility-charging-docking-and-service-station-in-new-york-city-300895817.html
— Charge: https://www.charge.us/    
— Charging stations vs battery swaps: What’s better for micromobility? https://thenextweb.com/news/charging-stations-battery-swaps-whats-better-micromobility-syndication

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

1. Problem: Outdated Metering Infrastructure 

The electricity sector is approximately 25% of U.S. annual greenhouse gas emissions. Outdated energy infrastructure generates damaging environmental impacts with higher energy costs. Residential and commercial customers lack visibility of their energy consumption. Antiquated systems provide inaccurate meter readings that impact billing and generate operational and energy inefficiencies. As electric vehicle adoption increases alongside distributed energy generation sources, new measurement infrastructure is needed to prevent the grid from being overloaded. Utilities play a critical role in decarbonization yet face many challenges. 


2. Solution: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) 

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) enables utilities to gain visibility of energy usage to make more informed decisions and meet customer demand. AMI enables utilities to predict outage risk and respond faster. AMI also provides customers more control over electricity consumption with new tools and techniques. Features include:

— Near real-time smart grid predictive management of energy supply and demand. 
— Edge computing over 5G networks to provide scalable IoT cloud integration. 
— Advanced streaming analytics with AI that collects and reacts to energy data. 
— Energy insights surfaced on a dashboard to inform data-driven decisions. 
— Platform to trade electricity among customers and provide energy services.

Smart Meters 

Smart meters are electronic devices that measure energy use with data captured in 15-minute intervals. This data is securely sent to portals that can be accessed by customers and utilities. As smart meters are widely adopted, utilities can provide customers energy at the lowest cost and lowest environmental impact. ConEdison is installing 5 million smart meters over the next year. 

3. Stakeholders

Key constituents in the AMI and smart meter ecosystem include:

— Utilities: ConEdison in New York, PG&E in California, and Oncor in Texas are examples of utility companies that provide AMI solutions and smart meters to customers.  
— Technology Providers: Companies such as IBM provide AMI cloud services and Siemens develop smart meters used by utility companies. 
— Commercial and Complex Billing Customers: These customers gain insights on cost and usage trends. This includes tracking consumption to uncover energy efficiency opportunities. 
— Residential Customers: These customers track near real-time energy usage with comparison to similar homes and saving tips.
— Electric Vehicle Charging Companies: Charging stations integrate AMI and smart meters to collect and share energy consumption data with utilities.
— Policymakers: Federal and State politicians impact the financing of energy budgets and the rollout of programs that promote AMI and smart meters. 


4. Implementation

Once a residential, commercial, or complex billing customer decides to get a smart meter, the following steps are taken:

1. The customer contacts the utility company to request smart meter installation availability.  
2. Once eligibility is confirmed, an approved vendor completes the installation on location. 
3. Approximately 2 weeks after installation, customers access tools on their account dashboard. 
4. Near real-time usage, comparison, and analysis data surface energy efficiency opportunities. 


Sources 
— Enable an advanced metering infrastructure. IBM: https://www.ibm.com/industries/energy/solutions/smart-metering
— Smart Meter Features and Benefits. ConEdison: https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/how-will-a-smart-meter-help-me
— Sources of Greenhouse Gases. EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Open Charge Point Protocol

1. Problem: Electric Vehicle Charging Fragmentation
Sustainability Category: Energy Management, Mobility

29% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are from transportation with internal combustion engine vehicles being the highest source. With only about 1% of cars on the road being electric today, range anxiety from the lack of widespread charging infrastructure is a primary adoption barrier.

As the electric vehicle (EV) charging technology sector develops, closed charging infrastructure networks generate friction for hardware manufacturers, software developers, and drivers. Electric vehicle infrastructure developed by private network operators create silos that limit value for stakeholders. Industry fragmentation forces EV drivers to join multiple networks with varying accounts to access public chargers. The lack of standards leads to duplicative development effort to integrate charging stations and backend networks with energy systems. This limits providers from offering additional features across all providers.


2. Solution: Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)


The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is a charging infrastructure standard for EV charging station, Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), and back end software communication. OCPP reduces friction and fragmentation by increasing flexibility across the electric vehicle infrastructure industry for organizations and drivers.

— OCPP is an open-source, free standard published by Open Charge Alliance (OCA) that enables interoperability between charging infrastructure hardware and software networks.
— This neutral, open standard enables charging station vendors to access, share, and collect data with backend charge management operators so the widest amount of products can work together.
— On the charging station, OCPP enables charging station discovery, reservations, session authorization, billing information collection, and real-time charging data.
— On the backend software, OCPP enables real-time status of charging stations, remote charging session control, firmware management, and error notification.
— OCPP 1.6 is a JSON protocol that was released in 2015 and is the most widely used version in market today. OCPP 2.0 was launched in 2018 and provides major data encryption security updates. OCPP 2.0.1 is the latest version and was launched on March 31, 2020.

3. Stakeholders

OCPP is primarily utilized by charging station product, design, and engineering teams. Key organizations that are stakeholders in the OCPP ecosystem include:

— Open Charge Alliance (OCA):An international consortium of private and public EV infrastructure organizations that leads OCPP development, adoption, and certification.
— Network Management System Providers: GreenLots and ChargeLab are two EV charging network software providers that manage charging stations across manufacturers via OCPP.
— Charging Station Manufacturers: Blink and EVBox are two EV charging station manufacturers that use to connect devices to OCPP supported backend systems.
— EV Drivers:Mobile applications across providers initiate and manage charging sessions.
— EV OEMs: Manufacturers integrate OCPP on the in-car display to manage charging sessions.


4. Implementation

Once a hardware or software company decides to use OCPP, the following steps are taken:
1. The product management team will integrate OCPP in the roadmap and define requirements.
2. The design team will incorporate the OCPP functionality into hardware or software features.
3. Once approved, the engineering team will develop, test, and deploy OCPP features.


Sources


— Open vs. Closed Charging Stations: Advantages and Disadvantages. GreenLots: https://greenlots.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Open-Standards-White-Paper.pdf
— What is OCPP? ChargeLab: https://www.chargelab.co/industry-advocacy/ocpp   
— About Us. Open Charge Alliance: https://www.openchargealliance.org/about-us/about/
— Sources of Greenhouse Gases. EPA: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions
— Electric Vehicles Setting A Course For 2030. Deloitte Insights:  https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/22869-electric-vehicles/DI_Electric-Vehicles.pdf