Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

EV-to-grid integration could see long-term benefit for utilities

Steve Rogerson
June 18, 2019
 
While vehicle-to-grid (V2G) integration remains more concept than reality in the USA, it will likely afford economic value to cost-conscious utilities and their ratepayers in the long term, according to a report from Colorado-based CoBank's knowledge exchange division.
 
Ownership of electric vehicles is on the rise as they are becoming less expensive, more convenient to drive, more abundant, and therefore meaningful as potential utility resources.
 
"Though it is small now, the US market share of EVs is projected to grow rapidly beginning in the mid- to late-2020s," said Tom Binet, senior economist for power, energy and water at CoBank. “Currently, five million plug-in EVs have been sold globally. The USA accounted for over one million of those. Automobile manufacturers, various electric utilities and research institutions are working to address multiple technical and non-technical hurdles to EVs' widespread integration with the grid."
 
While today's US consumers routinely express interest in the fuel savings and environmental benefits afforded by EVs, considerations of first-owner cost and convenience usually win out. With the rising popularity of EVs due to their greater affordability and range, V2G integration could become a new tool for electric utilities in the next decade.
 
CoBank is a $138bn cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.
 
The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
 
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of US agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centres across the USA and maintains an international representative office in Singapore.