Analytics Could Save EVs and Charging, IBM Execs Say

SITUATION:
• While sales of elec­tric vehi­cles (EV) have been slow so far, they’re not going away They’re on the cusp of becom­ing plat­forms for state-of-the-art infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy and ana­lyt­ics – sim­i­lar to what telem­at­ics and con­nect­ed cars bring to the table – accord­ing to two IBM exec­u­tives.

• There’s a lot of “stuff” that needs to be tak­en care of for plug-ins to reach high vol­ume sales adop­tion – one of these being who will pay for the need­ed charg­ing sta­tion infra­struc­ture.

• There’s a com­plex web of play­ers who have to bring these charg­ers to more car own­ers – site hosts (could be employ­er, retail store, park­ing garage, con­do own­er); charg­ing post own­er who is some­times dif­fer­ent than site host; util­i­ty that owns the wires deliv­er­ing the elec­tric­i­ty; gen­er­a­tor of the pow­er; loy­al­ty and coupon pro­grams that are com­ing to play; and some­times trans­ac­tions that might be rout­ed back to the EV owner’s home util­i­ty account.

• Util­i­ties, EV mak­ers, retail­ers, and key tech­nol­o­gy play­ers are begin­ning to solve prob­lems using advanced ana­lyt­ics, says IBM exec­u­tives Clay Luthy and Allan Schurr.

SIGNIFICANCE:
• Hon­da, PG&E, and IBM are col­lab­o­rat­ing in Cal­i­for­nia and look­ing at how EV dri­vers behave. Cloud-com­put­ing sys­tems are ana­lyz­ing data stream­ing from a fleet of Hon­da Fit EVs being dri­ven in real world dri­ving con­di­tions. The system’s pro­cess­ing mil­lions of data points and teas­ing out pat­ters from the infor­ma­tion – this will help util­i­ties to plan more effec­tive­ly and address some of the Smart Grid chal­lenges.

• A real­ly big chal­lenge for util­i­ties is what to do about Smart Grid tech­nolo­gies and the demand to access more renew­able ener­gy made from things like wind and solar.

• EVs can play an impor­tant role in it, if key play­ers like automak­ers and tech­nol­o­gy sup­pli­ers play the game – some of that has to do with all the bat­tery stor­age capac­i­ty not being used when they’re sit­ting around in park­ing lots.

• Nav­i­gant Research expects that by 2020 about 200,000 EVs will be able to feed pow­er back to build­ings. If so, EVs could help pre­vent black­outs and also boost renew­ables by offer­ing a way to mop up excess out­put from solar pan­els and wind mills, the IBM execs say.

Source: Green­Biz

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