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Cross-Sector Collaboration: Addressing the Potential Challenges from Electric Vehicle Grid Impacts

April 11, 2023 – The California Mobility Center (CMC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) developed the joint report, “Electric Vehicle Dynamic Charging Performance Characteristics during Bulk Power System Disturbances” to highlight the need for ongoing collaboration between electric utilities, electric vehicles (EVs), and electric vehicle equipment industries to ensure electric system reliability.

The report, undertaken as part of the joint EV Grid Reliability Working Group, focuses on EV charging behavior during infrequent disturbances that originate from the high-voltage bulk power system. These events last no more than a few seconds, but if left unchecked they have the potential to cause catastrophic consequences for electric system reliability such as cascading blackouts and widespread power interruptions.

“By forming a working group to bring all EV stakeholders together, we can better accelerate innovation and help prevent grid reliability challenges before they happen,” said Arlen Orchard, CMC chair. “This is precisely the type of cutting-edge cross-sector collaboration that the CMC seeks to foster.”

The need for early engagement and information exchange between sectors to facilitate timely anticipation and resolution of these potential issues is also highlighted in the report. In particular, the reliability concerns that electric utilities are studying in anticipation of the projected significant nationwide increase in EV charging was outlined, and initial recommendations to mitigate these concerns were highlighted.

“As the electrification of the transportation sector continues to grow, the North American grid must be prepared,” said Jim Robb, NERC president and CEO. “Collaboration, innovation, and information sharing are critical if we are to be able to meet future demands successfully. NERC is committed to working with stakeholders to unify our efforts in these areas to advance our shared reliability goals.”

Ongoing information sharing is key to fostering mutual understanding of the issues and to ensure co