Electric Vehicles, Heavy-Duty and Vehicle-to-Grid Technology

March 1, 2021

On February 22nd, 2021, Virginia Clean Cities hosted an educational workshop on electric vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles and vehicle-to-grid technologies (V2G). This hour and a half workshop featured several expert speakers that walked attendees through five key EV topics including current funding opportunities, electric vehicle basics, the charging spectrum, heavy-duty EV applications and vehicle-to-grid technologies.

If you missed the workshop or want to experience it again you can view it here on our YouTube channel!

EVs and Funding Opportunities

VCC’s Executive Director, Alleyn Harned, introduced a number of funding opportunities including the upcoming EPA DERA deadline, and gave the audience a brief overview of EVs and EV charging. If you are interested in applying for DERA 2021 funding the EPA’S deadline for applications is March 16th. Virginia Clean Cities also provides services to assist with these applications, however, VCC’s deadline to submit applications to the EPA is March 5th 2021. If you are interested, please reach out to us as soon as possible!

The EV Charging Spectrum

The workshop progressed to the topic of the EV charging spectrum. During this portion of the workshop, Kate Staples of Dominion Energy highlighted the importance of collaborating with utility providers when considering EVs and outlined Dominion’s Smart Charging Infrastructure Pilot Program Rebates. Rebecca Gutierrez, representing Blink, explained current EV adoption and EV charging demand projections in the United States. She then gave an overview of the charging spectrum, using Blink charging products as examples of the variety of charging options available. 

Heavy- Duty EVs

After reviewing the charging spectrum, heavy-duty electric vehicle applications were discussed. First, Ryan Zic from Roush CleanTech discussed the variety of options available for heavy-duty EVs with a focus on the variety of applications that medium and heavy-duty EV vehicles can serve. During this time he also highlighted one of ROUSH CleanTech’s current EV offerings, the EVF-650, which works well as an option for transitioning fleets as it allows customers to convert to EVs while retaining their preferred body types. Next, Albert Burleigh of Blue-Bird Buses gave a brief history of electric buses including its experience with technology beginning 25 years ago. As of 2021, Blue-Bird has over 400 electric buses on the road, with a variety of options including Types A, C and D. As VCC’s Alleyn Harned mentioned in his remarks, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is currently offering funding that will cover 100% of the incremental costs for electric school bus replacements.

Vehicle-to-Grid Technology

Image courtesy of Nuvve

After hearing about the charging spectrum and EV offerings, a short round of questions was taken from the audience before transitioning to the topic of vehicle-to-grid technologies (V2G). The first to speak on the topic was Dick Johnson of Nuvve. He explained Nuvve’s role in the V2G process from their financing options to the software and platform solutions. Then the webinar segued to the University of Delaware’s Dr. Willett Kempton for a discussion of V2G technology. 

Dr. Kempton and his team have been working on V2G since the late 1990s when he coined the term. He explained that while V2G can seem complex, once the infrastructure and software are installed, it really only involves a few simple steps:

“Step one, you plug in your vehicle. Step two, you charge your car to a pre-designated level. Step three, you make money!”

Dr. Willett Kempton, University of Delaware

This third step occurs when you sell energy used to charge your vehicle back to the grid at a higher price than when you initially purchased the power. This third step could also be used to save costs, by using it to power your buildings during peak consumption times when energy costs are higher. Step four the final step, is simply unplugging and driving your vehicle. With services such as those provided through Nuvve, mobile fleet management allows you to plan your trips in advance to ensure that your vehicles are always charged when you need them.

Kempton and the speakers anticipate much growth in the V2G field in the coming year. Already there are startup and established companies working in this exciting new space. The potential benefits to consumers, utilities and industry are great and ripe for exploration.

If you are interested in any of these topics you can view the workshop here on our YouTube channel or reach out to us for more information!