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Supporting EV Adoption to Protect The Planet

Supporting EV adoption to protect the planet

Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is a good thing for the environment, and Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a crucial part of making that a reality.

The good news is that the transition to EVs is already being fast-tracked – adoption is expected to increase an impressive 36% annually. However, for EV adoption to reach critical mass, all stakeholders must do their share to encourage end-users and fleet owners to make the switch to electric – and the grid needs to be ready.

In honor of Earth Day, which took place on April 22, let’s dive into three ways Itron and the industry are making the switch from pump to plug for a smoother and more successful process.

More EV chargers

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Energy announced it will dedicate nearly $5 billion to building a national EV charging network. The funds will be made available over the next five years as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, which President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established.

A combination of a mass market national network of EV chargers along highways and within rural communities should supplement the evolution of home, workplace and depot charging. More charging stations are needed to meet every consumer’s needs, including fleet operators that must accommodate long-haul trips and a combination of depot and home charging.

More EV vehicles to market

Nearly all major manufacturers plan to bring electric vehicles to market over the next few years. For example, Ford F-150 launched its electric pickup (the Lightning EV) and Honda plans to bring 30 types of EVs to market by 2030.

Greater choice of vehicles for consumers will undoubtedly increase interest in EVs and eventually help lower upfront costs. Combine that with tax credits and no need to fill up a tank, it’s only a matter of time before the cost of an EV car will be lower than its gas-powered equivalents.

Electricity management

Managing electricity consumption is essential to keeping costs low for consumers and the lights on when massive spikes from EVs occur, especially when it comes to fleet charging depots. To help, Itron launched our Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Optimizer solution in February. The first-of-its-kind charger and cloud-based vehicle agnostic solution enables EV charging assets to work in harmony with the grid. It can save end customers more than 35% on their energy costs through managed charging and keep utilities more than 20% annualized, considering grid infrastructure investments and ongoing management.

Another example is the collaboration between Itron and Duke Energy Florida to deliver a managed EV charging program. Duke Energy Florida, which supplies electrical services to 1.9 million customers throughout Florida, will deploy Itron’s newly developed DER Optimizer solution. The DER Optimizer solution is a suite of modules that enables utilities to monitor residential EV charging and manage holistic residential EV charging programs at scale.

The program will begin in Q1 2022 and run for four years. Duke Energy Florida will use Itron’s DER Optimizer to collect permissible EV charging session data near-real-time and gain insights into residential EV charging behavior.

Going electric for the environment

We are getting closer to an electric-only world, but we still have a long way to go. To make this vision a reality, it is up to all industry stakeholders to push the boundaries, find ways to remove barriers and ensure the grid is ready.