Center Update from Tom Turrentine
We are excited to announce California Energy Commission has agreed to fund our research for an additional three years, July 2010- July 2013. Our agreement with CEC continues to be funded under the PIER program and our new research tasks include many ideas which were either inaugurated here at UC Davis or recommended by our Research Advisory Council in the development of our Research Roadmap. With this sustained support from the California Energy Commission, many collaborations and the momentum of a historic market launch of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles in 2011, we have been able to stay ahead of the rapid developments in this dynamic arena. In just the next few months, we will begin new projects with a wide range of partners, including BMW, Nissan, Chrysler-Fiat, the US Department of Energy, San Diego Gas and Electric and ECOtality.
In December, the PH&EV; Center will release a Strategic Plan for the Electrification of Transportation in California, a project that has engaged over 30 high level California stakeholders who have come together this year in what is called the California PEV Collaborative to ensure the success of PEVs in the coming years. This group includes 2 members of the California Legislature, heads of 3 state agencies, the governor’s office, 5 automakers, 4 California utilities, and several other stakeholder groups. A team of researchers and writers from the PH&EV; Center is writing the plan and facilitating the input from this historic effort.
To get all this work and research done, Dr. Turrentine continues to pull from the expertise and dedication of the faculty and staff of the Institute of Transportation Studies. Among others, the center continues to work closely Dr. Ken Kurani, Dr. Andy Burke and Dr. Mark Delucchi. The rapid growth has also required new staff. The center has added new managers, staff writers, 4 post-docs, and 3 staff researchers to handle the increased load. Lastly, the PH&EV; Center, along with the Institute of Transportation Studies, continues to attract a talented pool of graduate students from around the world. These students contribute enormously to the centers diverse goals, including the development of trained professionals needed in the years ahead.
During its first three years, the Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Research Center was a resounding success. The center has achieved significant research and development milestones since its commencement three years ago. Some of these accomplishments include developing strategic partnerships, research and readiness road maps for California, organizing industry wide conferences, completing consumer studies, analyzed the impact of vehicle charging, evaluating plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle batteries and powertrain, and improved modeling systems for measuring the lifetime social cost and emissions of PH&EV; vehicles. In all, the center has released 17 publications, 2 Masters Thesis’s, and 2 Ph. D. Dissertations. These accomplishments contribute to California’s transportation energy priorities and as we move forward, the center embellishes the need to continue to evaluate the concerns, constraints and impacts associated with bringing electric powered alternative transportation options into the mainstream marketplace.
Our new agreement with the CEC consists of three research areas:
- The first area is attributed towards improving affordability of vehicle batteries and includes the development and testing of novel battery second life use applications. This area of research will also evaluate battery end-of-life value through the review of battery recycling practices.
- The second task focuses on optimizing interaction between plug-in vehicles and smart grid systems. This includes research to developing vehicle recharging network planning tools and the team will accomplish this by creating a common framework to analyze and evaluate vehicle charging infrastructure. Additionally the second area of research includes designing and testing smart grid household interfaces, and modeling the impacts of fast charging on the electrical grid.
- The third area of research will provide the state with consumer use data and involves developing profiles of energy use related to plug-in vehicles, evaluating consumer response to time-of-use electrical rates, testing vehicle interfaces that help consumers optimize their energy use and model a smart grid system that facilitates optimal interaction between consumer behavior, emissions reductions and demand management goals. Lastly, the center continues to execute and develop outreach and educations activities.
We look forward to the next three years, with anticipation of the challenges, successes and learning that will bring.