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Impact of uncoordinated plug-in electric vehicle charging on residential power demand


Electrification of transport offers opportunities to increase energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and improve local air quality. Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are creating new connections between the transportation and electric sectors, and PEV charging will create opportunities and challenges in a system of growing complexity. Here, I use highly resolved models of residential power demand and PEV use to assess the impact of uncoordinated in-home PEV charging on residential power demand. While the increase in aggregate demand might be minimal even for high levels of PEV adoption, uncoordinated PEV charging could significantly change the shape of the aggregate residential demand, with impacts for electricity infrastructure, even at low adoption levels. Clustering effects in vehicle adoption at the local level might lead to high PEV concentrations even if overall adoption remains low, significantly increasing peak demand and requiring upgrades to the electricity distribution infrastructure. This effect is exacerbated when adopting higher in-home power charging.

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Fig. 1: Modelling scheme. First, the behavioural model, calibrated using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data, is used to simulate household occupants’ behaviour and generate a synthetic activity pattern for each household member14.
Fig. 2: Per-household average residential electricity demand for an aggregate of 200 sampled households.
Fig. 3: Total residential power demand for six households under different conditions.
Fig. 4: Hourly load factor for six households under different conditions.


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The author would like to thank G. Rizzoni, M. Moran, R. Sioshansi, B.-A. Schuelke-Leech and M. Roberts for their valuable contributions to the development of the models used in this paper. Results are based on models supported by the National Science Foundation under grant no. 1029337. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC36-08GO28308 with Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the manager and operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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Correspondence to Matteo Muratori.

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Muratori, M. Impact of uncoordinated plug-in electric vehicle charging on residential power demand. Nat Energy 3, 193–201 (2018).

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