Publication Detail

Distribution Grid Impacts of Electric Vehicles: A California Case Study


Journal Article

Suggested Citation:
Jenn, Alan and Jake Highleyman (2022) Distribution Grid Impacts of Electric Vehicles: A California Case Study. iScience

California has adopted a substantial number of electric vehicles over the last decade but there are many challenges associated with the electrification of vehicles, including how they interact with the electricity grid. We employ real-world feeder circuit level data in California from PG&E to measure the capacity of local feeders. We model the adoption of electric vehicles down to the census block and take advantage of real-world vehicle charging data to simulate the future loading on circuits throughout Northern California. In our highest adoption scenario of 6 million electric vehicles in California, we find that across PG&E's service territory, 443 circuits will require upgrades (nearly 20% of all circuits) and merely 88 of these feeders have planned upgrades in the future. The costs of these feeders are an essential part of a utility's planning process, and this work speaks to the importance of electric vehicles on local distribution networks.

Key words: Energy resources, Energy policy, Energy transportation, Energy storage, Energy systems