EV popularity signals shift to smart grids
Concerted efforts by both, the Government and the automobile industry, have resulted in increased adoption of electric vehicles in the country and their number is going to spurt even further. This, no doubt, is a heartening scenario but it also calls for preparedness by the national power grid to cope up with the increased power demand in the times to come. And for that to happen, power utilities must shift to a smart grid at the earliest.
The adoption of electric vehicles is fast gaining momentum around the world, and India is no exception. The Government with its FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) initiative is offering several incentives and also prodding the automobile industry to educate people on the benefits of buying an EV. As a result, the sale of EVs in India has almost doubled from the last financial year.
On its part, the automobile Industry is also working hard to increase the driving range offered by the EVs while at the same time reducing their price in the market. The manufacturers are also striving to ensure reduction in charging time of electric vehicles, which is among the biggest mind-blocks against mass switchover to EVs.
- On its part, the automobile Industry is also working hard to increase the driving range offered by the EVs while at the same time reducing their price in the market.
- Earlier, the fast chargers used to come in the range of 50kW to 100kW. Nowadays, fast chargers in the range of 300kW are also available in the market.
- A smart grid is the right solution. It has the ability to study the maximum power demand by EVs at different timelines of the day and distribute the load accordingly.
- The number of EVs on the roads is increasing at a swift pace and electricity generation and distribution companies must take a cue from this.
With a view to reducing the charging time, the power requirement of EV chargers is also increasing day-by-day. Earlier, the fast chargers used to come in the range of 50kW to 100kW. Nowadays, fast chargers in the range of 300kW are also available in the market. Tesla, the biggest EV company in the world, recently launched its V3 Supercharger which has a power capacity of 250kW and it can charge at an unbelievable rate of 1,000 miles per hour.
Given the rapid rise of EVs in the country and increased power requirement by them, it is essential for the Government to ensure that the power grid is capable of coping up with the demand spurt as a result. Power utilities need to upgrade and prepare themselves for the future as the demand for power is set to increase exponentially once the EV charging infrastructure gets strengthened in the country.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the number of EVs in the world will hit the 130-million mark by the year 2030. The electricity generation and distribution companies (Discoms) need to be well prepared to handle the massive power demand arising because of the all-round electric mobility in the years to come.
A smart grid is the right solution to this problem. It has the ability to study the maximum power demand by EVs at different timelines of the day and distribute the load accordingly. A smart grid can then suggest an optimal time for a consumer to charge his/her EV. For those who don’t have the luxury of a flexible timeline, it can recommend a higher cost for charging the EVs during peak hours.
In a nutshell, an increased EV adoption means shifting of gears by power generators to adapt to a transformed and evolving electricity landscape. The number of EVs on the roads is increasing at a swift pace and electricity generation and distribution companies must take a cue from this. In order to be ready for the future, they must upgrade their old system to a new and advanced system based on Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). And that’s what a smart grid is all about.
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