In 2018, LES launched a new EV study focused on our customers’ charging behaviors and the associated impact on our local grid. LES provided participants in the two-year study an easy-to-install module that records when and where customers charge, when and how far they travel, and the energy consumed while both traveling and recharging. FleetCarma, a leader in studying electric vehicle fleets, is helping facilitate the study by providing the data collection platform and anonymizing the data for customer privacy.
Participants are provided free use of a special customer web portal. The portal delivers real-time access to energy consumption, battery health and various other helpful data for the approximately 90 customer-owned vehicles in the study, representing 15 different all-electric or plug-in hybrid electric models.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy located in Golden, Colorado, will team with LES to analyze the data being gathered over the next two years. Locally, University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Engineering also will be involved. Faculty and students in its Electrical and Computer Engineering department will have the opportunity to access and leverage data for further analysis.
To help support the project, the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Development program awarded LES a grant of $46,075.
LES also partnered with the Electric Power Research Institute in 2018 to learn more about the prospects for the future growth of EVs. This effort, comprising eight utilities across the country, surveyed customers to understand more about the key barriers and drivers to plug-in vehicle adoption. The study will culminate in 2019 with development of a new model intended to forecast future EV adoption in our service area.
These studies and partnerships will help ensure that LES and other power systems across the country are better prepared for a future with more EV drivers.