EV Charging Future: Xendee Report Highlights Challenges, Solutions
A recent report delves into the challenges facing commercial EV charging. Xendee CTO and Co-Founder Michael Stadler offers EE Power readers a firsthand look at the solutions.
The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is upon us. As governments and private sectors worldwide rally behind the push for cleaner transportation, the demand for EVs has already skyrocketed, and this trend is not expected to slow down any time soon.
Image used courtesy of Unsplash
However, with this surge come challenges surrounding the EV charging infrastructure that need addressing to ensure a smooth transition to a greener future. In a recently published market survey, Xendee delves deep into the challenges facing commercial EV charging, as well as some promising solutions.
EE Power talked with Xendee CTO and Co-Founder Michael Stadler to learn more about the report firsthand.
Grid Infrastructure Challenges
One of the most pressing concerns highlighted in the Xendee report is the limitations of the current electric grid.
As EVs become more mainstream, the demand for charging stations will naturally rise – yet our existing electric grid may not be equipped to handle this increased load. For groups developing EV-related projects, the lack of suitable infrastructure is a huge hindrance to their progress. However, waiting on utility companies to upgrade systems to cater to this demand is far too costly and time-consuming.
EV charging infrastructure market size. Image used courtesy of Precedence Research
“The federal government projects that EVs will make up about 67% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2032,” Stadler said. “Naturally, the demand for EV charging is going to increase exponentially, but our grid, as it stands, is not equipped to handle this new load.”
According to Xendee, 70% of survey respondents believe electric grid limitations will constrain the growth of commercial EVs.
Beyond the grid, the financial aspect of setting up commercial EV charging stations is another mountain to climb.
The Xendee report emphasizes the importance of government funding in overcoming these cost challenges. Without government incentives, the financial feasibility of many projects comes into question. This is a crucial point, especially when considering the expected growth of EV ownership in the next five years. While both government projections and private sector investments indicate a significant uptick in demand for commercial EV charging, meeting this demand without breaking the bank is a puzzle that stakeholders must solve.
“Government incentives, such as tax credits, rebates, grants, and subsidies, are going to play a crucial role in driving consumer interest and encouraging businesses to invest in charging infrastructure,” Stadler told EEPower. “However, stakeholders should not solely rely on incentives but rather factor them into their business models and financial projections.”
Stadler stressed the importance of adaptability for these businesses to prepare them for a dynamic and ever-changing incentive landscape.
Microgrids and DERs: The Way Forward?
While the challenges are evident, the Xendee report leaves us with hope. It explores potential solutions that could pave the way for a brighter EV future. One such solution is using microgrids and distributed energy resources (DERs).
Microgrids are essentially smaller grid systems that operate independently or in conjunction with the main grid. Their promise holds in their ability to provide a decentralized approach to energy distribution, allowing EV charging stations to operate independently or in collaboration with the main grid. This reduces the impact of grid failures, improves overall system resilience, and ensures continuous charging availability even during emergencies or blackouts.
Microgrids will be a key enabler of future EV charging infrastructure. Image used courtesy of Microgrid Knowledge
On the other hand, DERs, which include solar panels, wind turbines, and energy storage systems, can provide localized power generation. This reduces the strain on the grid and promotes the use of renewable energy sources, aligning perfectly with the ethos of EVs.
Regarding the symbiosis between microgrids and DERs, Stadler told EEPower, “Microgrids facilitate the integration of DERs, such as solar and wind, into the charging infrastructure. By utilizing green energy, stakeholders can reduce the environmental footprint of EV charging, promote sustainability, and meet renewable energy targets.”
These technologies have an important impact on the cost of the evolving EV charging infrastructure. Leveraging microgrids and DERs can save costs by leveraging locally generated and stored energy, reducing reliance on expensive utility power during peak hours. These long-term economic benefits make them an ideal solution for a more financially viable charging infrastructure.
Supporting the EV Revolution
The current grid charging infrastructure needs a massive overhaul to keep up with the massive influx of EVs coming to the market in the coming years. However, challenges like scalability, cost, and time significantly hinder achieving this goal. As demonstrated through the Xendee report, microgrids and DERs offer a promising path forward to enabling a more robust and economically viable charging infrastructure for EVs.