Full Title: The State of Bidirectional Charging in 2023
Author(s): Brittany Blair, Garrett Fitzgerald
Publisher(s): Smart Electric Power Alliance
Publication Date: September 15, 2023
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Bidirectional charging has significant potential in transforming how consumers view and use their electric vehicles (EVs). Bidirectional charging allows EVs to become a flexible resource for power systems. At high rates of adoption, EVs can have significant impacts on coincident- system and feeder-level peaks. To mitigate these load impacts, utilities and EV charging site hosts often utilize a variety of managed charging solutions to optimize EV charging. As part of the continuum of managed charging solutions, bidirectional charging creates an opportunity for EVs to be used as an energy resource and to discharge back to the grid. Bidirectional charging’s ability to act as both a flexible load and an energy resource creates new revenue and grid services value streams for customers and utilities alike.
From a grid point-of-view, EV batteries are mobile storage assets that can be used in a similar manner to stationary batteries. Grid-tied, bidirectional-capable EVs can support peak shaving, store renewable generation, provide ancillary services (such as voltage support, ramping support, and distribution congestion), and act as resilience assets. In particular, vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have marketed the resilience benefits of using EVs as backup generation, increasing customer awareness of bidirectional charging.