The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced today a research and development collaboration with General Motors and 34 top utilities to facilitate integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the grid, a key step in providing the nation’s drivers an alternative to petroleum fuels.
“The EPRI-GM-utility effort is the result of many years of work by EPRI and its members to advance plug-in hybrids and related infrastructure technology to a point of feasible implementation and eventual commercialization,” said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI’s vice president of Power Delivery and Utilization. “Seamless integration of PHEVs into the electric grid will require close collaboration between the automobile and electric sectors.”
PHEVs use domestically produced electricity delivered through the grid, with a lower cost to fuel the vehicles than that of petroleum fuels. Additionally, research released last year by EPRI and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) pointed to the potential of PHEVs to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The entire PHEV environmental assessment is available on the EPRI website at www.epri-reports.org
“Electrically powered vehicles are going to provide tremendous benefit and excitement for the customer, while also hastening the move to a more diverse choice of energy alternatives,” said Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of Global Programs. “But we know that there are some key elements that need to be understood and put in place so customers can enjoy those benefits and get maximum use of these vehicles when we bring them to market. That’s why this relationship with EPRI and the utility partners is so important.”
The EPRI-GM-utility collaboration, which was announced in San Jose today at the Plug-in 2008 Conference — a three-day convention that explores technical advances, challenges and market research on electric transportation — will work to accelerate large-scale deployment of PHEVs and create a blueprint for an electric fuel infrastructure.
“This research program will help link a low-carbon generation portfolio and a smart grid, which in turn will facilitate widespread adoption of electricity as an alternative transportation fuel,” Mansoor said. “PHEVs have the potential of creating tremendous value for society by use of lesser emitting and lower cost electricity.”
The collaborative will also address issues that ensure safe and convenient vehicle charging, public education, and public policies requirements to enable a smooth introduction of PHEVs as a transportation alternative to conventional vehicles.
Participants in the collaboration include Alabama Power, American Electric Power, Austin Energy, BC Hydro, CenterPoint Energy, Consolidated Edison of New York, Dominion, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy Corp., Georgia Power, Great River Energy, Hydro-Québec, Manitoba Hydro, Nebraska Public Power District, New York Power Authority, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Progress Energy, Public Service Electric & Gas Co., Sacramento Municipal Util. Dist., San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison Co. and Southern Company.
The Electric Power Research Institute (www.epri.com) conducts research and development for the global electric power industry. An independent, non-profit organization, EPRI brings together experts from academia and industry as well as its own scientists and engineers to meet challenges in electricity generation, delivery and use, including health, safety and the environment. EPRI’s members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI’s laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.