Inspiration

Interview Olivier Hersent: What will the consequences of electric vehicles (EV) be on the aggregation market?

by October 10th 2018 1min read

Electric vehicles will soon have a fundamental impact on flex markets.

It is astonishing to realize that as soon as 2020, Paris and London will brim with electric buses and that the charge power of these would total the equivalent of a nuclear reactor output!

We can say today that electric vehicles will have three fundamental impacts on the aggregation market:

1. As they charge, EVs present an instant flex power between 3 to 20kWs, sometimes more. Like any other vehicle, they spend most of the time parked, so the average availability of a pool of EVs is very high. Control is standardized via Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), and the potentially complex problem, on the one hand, is to take into account the constraints of the distribution grid, and on the other is to be able to pool large numbers of charging stations. Actility is working to solve both issues:

  • The Smart-EV product, now nearing the end of our New Product Introduction cycle, acts as an OCPP proxy and is able to model in real time the distribution grid.
  • Our large-scale demand response control algorithm, « DaaS », which we have continued to improve since 2012, can now manage large pools of largely random loads.

2. After being removed from the market, EV batteries present a large residual capacity, at virtually zero cost as they are fully amortized. Old EV cars, like the very first Renault ZOE, have already begun to return to manufacturers and large pools of batteries stack up, ready to participate in flex markets.

3. The automotive industry is known to be the ultimate cost killer. With its gigantic purchasing power and volumes, this industry forces any technology to follow an accelerated curve to extreme commoditization. Batteries will follow that trend, although a fundamental shortage of rare metals will ultimately be the limit. Already 2019 EVs will double the capacity of 2013 EVs, for the same retail price. This means that base battery packs, also used in large container systems designed for grid stabilization and flex markets, will see their costs decreasing too. This should soon cause these systems to get mainstream.

Actility is expecting these trends to corroborate and should be well prepared, thanks to our prospective R&D. We are looking forward to benefitting from new opportunities that arise from EVs! Sure enough, Actility is ready to embrace the increasing use of Electric Vehicles and take part in this burgeoning aggregation market!

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