EPRI Program Helps Utilities Plan for EV Expansion

August 22, 2023 by Shannon Cuthrell

Utilities, fleet operators, automakers, and federal agencies are teaming up to prepare the grid for an influx of electric vehicle charging connections. 

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has unveiled a three-year program, EVs2Scale2030, bringing together over 500 companies, nonprofits, and government agencies to collaborate on expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure. 


An EV charging port

An EV charging port. Image used courtesy of Pexels/by Kindel Media


EVs2Scale2030 will oversee public-private collaboration and standardization activities to help the federal government meet its 2030 EV targets, which entail scaling up adoption to 50% of new vehicle sales. The program will create a detailed roadmap covering EV loads, impacts on the power grid, utility lead times, workforce needs, and cost estimates across 50 states. It will also develop an online platform to define cross-industry processes supporting large-scale investments, including charger maintenance, grid connection, affordability, and regulations. 

Finally, it will build a secure data exchange platform for fleet operators and EV charging providers so that energy firms can plan and prioritize grid upgrades. This component will validate best practices for EV-grid resilience and evacuations during power outages. 

EVs2Scale2030 launched this month with Amazon as a headlining partner and its first logistics participant. EPRI established the program with electric companies across several states, from California’s Pacific Gas & Electric to Texas’s Austin Energy to New York’s Con Edison and National Grid in the northeast, Xcel Energy in the midwest, and Southern Company in the south. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its network of national laboratories are also participating. 

The program’s data partners include truck manufacturers – Daimler Truck North America, Volvo Trucks, and PACCAR – alongside credit reporting giant Experian and data platform Replica. 


EVs2Scale2030 Deliverables

One of EVs2Scale2030’s planned deliverables is a Vetted Product List to support EV supply equipment (EVSE) compliance with industry standards and federal guidance from the DOE’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. (In fiscal years 2022 and 2023, NEVI distributed $1.5 billion in funding to help states establish EV charging corridors.)


Video used courtesy of EPRI


The latest version of the Vetted Product List provides detailed product information on models from several brands, from Eaton to Proterra to ChargePoint. It includes data points for physical and electrical specifications, network capabilities, and federal and state-specific criteria via NEVI. 

The program’s future deliverables are the eRoadMAP and GridFAST platforms, according to EPRI. The former will estimate energy and power needs at the distribution feeder level, while the latter will offer information-sharing for EVSE project planners and utilities. 


EV Adoption and Growing Charging Infrastructure Demand

With the Biden administration targeting a 50% market share of EV sales by 2030, the federal government is investing billions in charging infrastructure to ease the transition from traditional gas-fueled cars. Since 2021, the country has added 135,000 public chargers, now serving 3 million EVs on the road. Federal plans call for a national network of 500,000 chargers by 2030. 

According to the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, U.S. drivers registered 2.44 million light-duty EVs in 2022—or 73 cars per 10,000 people. This number has grown steadily since 2016, when it totaled just 280,300. 

EVs’ market share was only 0.9% of all vehicle registrations in 2022. However, the year also saw 6.2 million hybrid EV registrations (2.2% of all vehicles) and 1 million plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) registrations (0.4% market share).


EVs registered in 2022

EVs registered in 2022 (excluding hybrid and plug-in hybrid). Image used courtesy of the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center


Meanwhile, fleet operators are upping their electrification targets, meaning even more EVs will be on the road alongside light-duty vehicles driven by individual consumers. 

Udit Madan, vice president of Amazon Transportation, said the company is rolling out thousands of EVs to help its transportation network reach net-zero emissions by 2040. Amazon and its partner, custom EV maker Rivian, rolled out the first thousands of delivery EVs to over 100 cities last year and plan to reach 100,000 by 2030. 


A manufacturing facility builds one of Amazon’s electric delivery vehicles

A manufacturing facility builds one of Amazon’s electric delivery vehicles. Image used courtesy of Rivian


According to its 2022 Sustainability Report, Amazon has added over 2,600 Rivians in North America. With over 9,000 EVs in its global delivery fleet, the company has installed thousands of charging points across its North American and European facilities. It also deployed e-cargo bikes and scooters at micro-mobility hubs such as Manhattan, London, and Paris.