In Praise of Slow Charging

Slow CharingIt was an honor to deliver a keynote speech at the recent University of Texas Center for Transportation Research Symposium. The theme: “Energy is the Key.” In my talk, “Harnessing Electric Vehicle Demand Flexibility” (joint work with graduate student Mahdi Kefayati), I offered a slightly different take: both energy and power are the keys.

My calculation: While high-speed chargers such as Tesla’s supercharger are aimed at reproducing a gas station filling experience, the power transfer level involved with moving gasoline is so large that just three gas filling stations have an equivalent peak power level higher than the whole UT campus.In Praise of Slow Charging

My conclusion: Large-scale, fast-electric charging is simply not viable without hugely expensive upgrades of our electricity infrastructure.

My recommendation: A much more economical approach is to charge electric vehicles slowly, at low power, and preferably during off-peak conditions to facilitate use of energy produced by wind in Texas.

Read the complete paper: Harnessing Electric Vehicle Demand Flexibility

About Ross Baldick

Electricity is an increasingly complex industry in the midst of transition to renewables and decarbonization. Using my 25 years’ experience as an engineer, policy analyst, and academic, I help my consulting clients think through their toughest technical challenges and formulate their best business strategies.
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