As electric vehicles (EVs) rapidly expand in popularity and deployment, utilities are faced with an uncertain future. EVs simultaneously have the potential to significantly increase load and expand revenues for utilities, while also posing serious risks including distribution planning challenges, inadequate charging infrastructure, and higher rates for consumers if improperly managed.
To help utilities and industry stakeholders navigate these complex issues, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has launched a new Transportation Electrification program which will conduct first-in-class research and bring together stakeholders to find enduring solutions. To lead this new “pathway,” SEPA has tapped Erika Myers to serve as the newly created Principal of Transportation Electrification. Erika brings over 11 years of experience working on electric vehicles and over 16 years in the clean energy industry. Erika most recently served as Director of Research at SEPA and has been with the organization for four years.
“Electric vehicles represent a huge opportunity -- as well as a large risk -- to our electric utility members. Through strategic planning, we can mitigate the potential impacts of large-scale electric vehicle deployment and leverage these vehicles as grid assets,” said Myers. “I am thrilled to be leading this new Transportation Electrification pathway as the industry continues to evolve at a blindingly rapid pace.”
SEPA is working at the forefront to bring utilities, regulators, automotive sector representatives, charging infrastructure providers, and other stakeholders together to discuss and find solutions to these challenges.
“SEPA’s Transportation Electrification pathway will be focusing on utility EV rate design, distribution planning, and managed charging programs in 2019. We are working closely with our members through our Electric Vehicle Working Group to draw upon their diverse perspectives and aggregated knowledge to publish critical and timely information, while also helping to sort out ongoing challenges. We are exceptionally fortunate to have so many engaged and interested members that share SEPA’s commitment to facilitating a smart transition to a clean and modern energy future.”
SEPA has also expanded its membership to include new voices. Ford Motor Company recently became a SEPA member, along with other important transportation electrification players over the past six months, including Zappyride, Saascharge, ChargingLedger, Quanta Technology, C2 Group, KCI Technologies, D+R International, AutoGrid Systems, Hubject, ThinkEco, EV Connect, and EZ-EV.
“As we chart our course for the future, electrification will be an important part of our vehicle lineup,” said Steve Henderson, manager, vehicle electrification and policy at Ford. “By joining SEPA, we will be able to work together to support a growing vehicle-grid integration services market.”
“As a leading innovator and legacy automaker, Ford’s membership demonstrates the auto industry’s growing commitment to understanding and aligning with electric utilities to further leverage EVs and create additional value streams,” said Myers.
SEPA | sepapower.org