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Pioneering Work Modeling How Electric Vehicles Interact with the Electric Grid

A Q&A with scientist Bin Wang on how Berkeley Lab is helping cities prepare for a major shift in our transportation and grid sectors

Berkeley Lab researcher Bin Wang (Credit: Thor Swift/Berkeley Lab)

As the rate of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the U.S. rises, the transportation sector will put additional pressure on the power grid. California expects more than 50% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), which includes battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell EV, in new vehicle sales by 2030 to achieve statewide emission and pollution reduction goals. This added pressure on the grid could be very disruptive, but transportation and power grid researchers at Berkeley Lab are working on solutions to help city planners prepare.

Berkeley Lab scientist Bin Wang knows that coming up with solutions is going to require an interdisciplinary approach, and in many ways Wang’s background represents the perfect intersection of expertise required. He has experience working on the electric grid and transportation and vehicle engineering, all of which are key domains needed to solve for EV growth.

Researchers really only started looking at the integration of grid and transportation research in the last couple of years, due to the growth of EVs, grid modernization, ride-sharing, and autonomous vehicles on the road. Wang is focused on developing scalable solutions to analyze EV impacts on the grid as well as maximize the benefits of EV adoption. Wang’s vision is to develop these algorithms on a large metropolitan-scale model, such as the San Francisco Bay Area. The combination of doing this analysis on a large-scale — as well as optimizing for both the transportation and electric grid — makes this more complex than many other computational transportation projects.

Click here to read the Q&A at the Energy Technologies Area website.

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