The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Ford Motor Company have entered a three-year agreement to develop and evaluate technical approaches for integrating plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the nation’s electric grid system.
EPRI will form a collaborative of utilities in the New York-New Jersey area that will test Ford Escape PHEVs. Subsequent trials will be conducted with customers of the participating utilities. Ford is also working with Southern California Edison (SCE) to facilitate advancing PHEVs, and is the first major automotive manufacturer to partner with the utility industry. (Earlier post.)
Ford has designed and is building 20 Escape PHEVs for testing in the Los Angeles area under the Ford-SCE partnership. With this new EPRI-Ford agreement, Ford will expand the evaluation and demonstration program to include other utilities.
The new EPRI-Ford program will build on the ongoing Ford-SCE partnership and help determine regional differences in how the operation of PHEVs will impact the electric grid system.
This partnership represents a concerted effort by the transportation and electric sectors to work together in advancing PHEV technology. This effort should accelerate the pace of PHEV development while enabling the utility industry to prepare for the introduction of these vehicles.—Dr. Mark Duvall, EPRI program manager for Electric Transportation
EPRI, Ford and SCE’s research and analysis on the Ford PHEVs will include data from four primary areas: battery technology, vehicle systems, customer usage, and grid infrastructure. The analysis will also explore possible stationary and secondary usages for advanced batteries.