Recent advances in information and communications systems and battery technologies, in combination with substantial importance given by society to reducing greenhouse gas/carbon emissions, have resulted in accelerated innovations in electric vehicles and the smart and renewable electric infrastructure necessary to fuel and support them. Products such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and Ford Focus Electric, are in the process of creating mass markets for electric vehicles in the U.S. The utilities on their part are rapidly moving towards enhancing their infrastructure through their own investments as well as those from the DOE Stimulus ARRA Grants, and the result will be major changes in their distribution and transmission infrastructure.
Nevertheless, the current infrastructure in the U.S. would have a difficult time supporting the charging of these EVs — substantial technological, infrastructure and behavioral changes would be required to scale up the number of EVs. This results in opportunities and challenges, and at UCLA, we are working on developing an innovative smart grid-based infrastructure that takes advantage of the presence of EVs for both G2V (Grid-to-vehicle) and V2G (Vehicle-to-grid) to assist utilities and garage operators in managing loads via aggregated electric vehicles. The underlying research platform — an intelligent middleware connecting, monitoring, controlling, and managing the charging and discharging of EVs using wireless communications, sensors and controllers — will be presented in this session, along with the accompanying opportunities, challenges and future directions for aggregating and charging plug-in electric vehicles.
Thanks to the generous support from the Luskin Center, lunch will be provided.