A new report predicts that the segment for managing plug-in recharging technologies will reach $20.7 million by 2024.
According to Navigant Research, two different areas of vehicle-grid integration (VGI) technologies will drive the market from its current annual revenue of $335,000 to a multimillion-dollar industry.
The first area focuses on charge management for plug-in vehicles, called VGI communications. Using information from the vehicles, these systems can schedule the best times for recharging batteries to keep rates lower and prevent overtaxing utility companies.
“Today’s plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) represent a significant increase in electricity demand that, if unmanaged, could cause problems with distribution-level transformers and could drastically increase demand during peak hours when PEV owners return from work and plug in their vehicles,” said Navigant.
Though PEVs aren’t abundant enough to cause demand issues right now, Navigant expects that the rising population of plug-ins could impact utility companies in the near future if VGI management systems aren’t put in place.
“VGI technologies are designed to help make the grid more flexible and resilient, while also lowering electricity rates for owners of PEVs,” says Scott Shepard, research analyst with Navigant Research.
“With global sales of PEVs surpassing 320,000 in 2014, pilot programs testing VGI technologies are proliferating, and this market has the opportunity to expand rapidly in the coming years.”
The emphasis is on the opposite direction for the second category of the VGI industry. Instead of looking at how energy flows to the vehicle, this segment is concerned with the electricity that flows from the vehicle back to the grid.
“PEVs also represent an increase in load that could be used to capture renewable electricity generation and help balance generation with demand, theoretically making electricity marginally cheaper and cleaner,” Navigant stated.
With an aggressive placement of VGI technologies around the globe to harness this energy, Navigant estimates that PEVs could provide almost 4.2 gigawatts of power.
The report also takes into consideration the costs for AC and DC systems, analyzes which regional markets can offer the best opportunities, and identifies possible challenges in commercializing the technologies.