Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are here, and more are coming. By 2013, 100,000 PEVs were sold in the United States, and the number is growing. One study forecasts that more than a million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will be sold in California, New York, Washington, and Florida alone between 2013 and 2022. Electric vehicles (EVs) are also growing in range and sales. As the cost of battery packs comes down, the number of car shoppers willing to consider buying EVs will go up.
The growth of the PEV fleet means that an unplanned but potentially valuable energy storage resource is also growing—the battery packs of these vehicles. When PEVs are plugged in, they represent an opportunity to better manage the electricity grid. For instance, PEVs can be used to avoid potential shortages of electricity during peak times, provide extra storage capacity when the grid is generating more than it needs to satisfy demand, and encourage the growth of renewable energy by providing a buffer to balance out the intermittency of wind and solar generation.
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