EV Charging Patterns Affect Carbon Reduction
A Sense and Singularity Energy study examined consumers’ EV charging patterns using more than 100,000 sessions of in-field EV charging data and time-based carbon intensity data for 30 major regional grid balancing authorities for utilities. It found that charging dynamically to minimize carbon utilization was consistently more effective at reducing carbon than time of use rates.
The results show that smart home automation can dynamically adjust energy usage to address both grid constraints and carbon emissions goals. A separate study of 1,100 California homes conducted by Sense found that 55 percent of electricity usage in the evening timeframe could be shifted to other times during the day or reduced. Using an automated dynamic approach, utilities can incentivize customers to reduce peak emissions by shifting activities including EV charging, similar to the current incentives to reduce peak demand.
Carbon reductions are influenced by the regional mix of energy sources, with some regions offering a potential for higher reductions because of greater variability of carbon intensity in fuel sources. Among the top 10 balancing authorities, California Independent System Operator had the highest variation in carbon intensity at 307 percent, followed by Southwest Power Pool at 259 percent, Electric Reliability Council of Texas at 197 percent and Bonneville Power Authority Transmission at 181 percent.