The commercial launch of PEVs into California’s market place is not only exciting for the public, but it, brings to light the ongoing research at the PH&EV; Research Center. This launch moves our research in new and challenging directions. We are establishing relationships with emerging industries and continuing collaborations with leaders in the energy and transportation fields. The Center works to produce materials that informs consumers, policy makers and private companies of the economic and social benefits of electric vehicles.
The PEV Collaborative
In November the PH&EV; Center organized an unprecedented collaborative effort, bringing together over 30 diverse members, including government, private and non-profits organizations. The consortium, the PEV Collaborative, worked tirelessly to write Taking Charge, Establishing California’s Leadership in the Plug-in Vehicle Marketplace, a document that provides guidance and leadership for policy makers.
The EV ProjectThe Center is engaged with Nissan, ECOtality and San Diego Gas and Electric in the San Diego EV Project. The research team will be focusing on multiple aspects related to the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt rollouts in San Diego. This includes:
- PEV use and recharge patterns
- Use of experimental EV time of use electricity rates
- Optimal placement of public charging infrastructure
- Piggyback study of PEV market potential in San Diego
- Evaluation of charger placement and user patterns will be process by the PH&EV; GIS Team and incorporated into a planning tool for PEV infrastructure placement
Lithium Ion Battery 2nd Life Use Project
The Center is working with CCSE, UCB, Aeroviornment and San Diego Gas and Electric Company to evaluate the efficacy of using spent lithium ion battery packs from electric vehicles in “2nd life” energy storage applications. Current industry standards define the end of life for vehicle lithium ion batteries at less than 80% of the original storage capacity. However, the batteries may still be suitable for less demanding applications. This project will test used li-ion battery packs in Aeroviornment laboratories and use the data to model various energy storage applications. These will include utility power quality and reliability services as well as applications at the consumer level, such as a home energy storage appliance. The overall purpose of the project is to evaluate ways to decrease costs of lithium ion batteries though increasing the useable battery life.
The PH&EV; Research Center is working with Chevrolet, Toyota and Chrysler to develop demonstration projects in the Northern California area. Additionally the Center will engage in evaluating smart grid systems. This includes examining human machine interfaces (HMI’s) and involves HMI’s for both the home and vehicle to effectively inform consumers about their energy use. This project would evaluate the impacts of information from the HMI’s to understand if they motivate consumers to reduce energy use or increase efficiency in their homes and vehicles. The Center is interested in evaluating the impact of smart grid systems that will have the capability to incorporate PEV charging and energy consumption used in the home and vehicle.