Heavy-Duty Vehicle Electrification and its Potential as a Clean Energy Alternative for Critical Operations

Regents of the University of California, Davis

Recipient

Davis, CA

Recipient Location

3rd

Senate District

4th

Assembly District

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$162,364

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

In February 2023, the project team conducted a site visit at Caltrans' D4 training center to better understand the building layout and steps necessary for V2B integration. The team reviewed key potential locations for EVSE deployment and inspected the panel identified for back-up. In parallel discussions, the team is working with Global Environmental to identify characteristics of the EV sweeper's battery pack and charge controller characteristics.

The Issue

Critical commercial buildings typically rely on fossil fueled backup generators that are polluting and expensive to maintain and operate. Large-scale dedicated behind-the-meter storage can be cost-prohibitive and potentially underutilized for backup power applications. Discharging energy from electric vehicles (EVs) for V2B services could provide a low-emission and low-cost solution for backup power. However, V2B products require additional features and functionality beyond existing bidirectional chargers, for example the ability to remain operational when disconnected from grid power or to provide variable discharge rates to match fluctuations in local load. There is limited publicly-available information on how effectively V2B technologies can meet the requirements of commercial buildings. Uncertainty remains regarding potential battery degradation, suitability and reliability of various EV types, including medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, for V2B applications.

Project Innovation

This project will advance and demonstrate bidirectional charging technologies for heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) to provide backup power and other electric services to a critical fleet facility located in a disadvantaged community in Oakland. The project will implement modifications to existing bidirectional charging hardware and software to enable blackstart and variable discharge capabilities. The project will also evaluate potential impacts to EV battery degradation associated with bidirectional charging and develop operational strategies to extend battery lifetime.

Project Goals

Improve the capabilities of bidirectional charging hardware and software to enable V2B functionality.
Evaluate potential energy benefits achievable statewide from potential use of heavy-duty EVs for bidirectional charging.
Demonstrate V2B with heavy-duty EVs at a lower cost than established alternatives with minimal impacts.
Support market growth for V2B technologies by collecting and sharing data on performance, costs, and benefits.

Project Benefits

This project will result in the ratepayer benefits of greater electricity reliability, lower utility costs, and increased safety by advancing the capabilities and market availability of V2B technology that can serve as a flexible, clean demand-side energy resource. The V2B technology demonstrated can increase local energy resilience by providing backup power during outages. Additionally, the V2B technology advanced can support greater electric grid reliability through scheduled or event-based load shedding and/or shifting at times of high grid stress, energy cost, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

The V2B technology demonstrated can increase local energy resilience by providing backup power during outages. Additionally, the V2B technology advanced can support greater electric grid reliability through scheduled or event-based load shedding and/or shifting at times of high grid stress, energy cost, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Kieth Graeber

Director of Engineering
UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center

Subrecipients

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Nuvve Holding Corp.

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West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project

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Match Partners

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Regents of the University of California, Davis

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Nuvve Holding Corp.

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Contact the Team

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