Microgrids Can Solve Grid and Cost Challenges For EV Charging Projects

July 17, 2023
A recent survey from Xendee and Endeavor Business Intelligence reveals insights, challenges and potential solutions related to commercial EV charging.

Driven by government incentives and increasingly stringent vehicle emissions limits, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. are expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

Yet, the results of a new survey indicate that there are still significant concerns about the country’s transition to EVs.

Xendee, an EV charging and microgrid design services provider, and Endeavor Business Intelligence recently surveyed leaders involved in the development, construction, operation or use of commercial EV charging projects.

The results indicate that those leaders are particularly concerned about the development and operation of commercial EV charging infrastructure, given the limitations of the country’s electric grid.

About 70% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that electric grid limitations will constrain the growth of commercial EVs.

But the industry appears to have a plan to address its power needs – 63% of respondents believe microgrids and distributed energy resources (DERs) will help the commercial EV charging industry overcome the grid’s limitations.

Microgrids and DERs among the top power sources for EV chargers

Survey participants were asked how they plan to power their EV chargers. The vast majority (76%) indicated that while the grid would be the most likely power source, most (69%) said they’d also use microgrids and DERs because of the electric reliability and operational resilience the technologies provide.

More than 80% of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that microgrids and DERs are essential to the growth of commercial EV usage.

Additionally, microgrids and DERs that are co-located with EV charging infrastructure were cited as top “game-changing” technologies that would drive the transition to commercial EVs.

External funding is essential to charging infrastructure projects

The survey also found that the EV charging industry still needs external funding to overcome cost challenges.

Respondents indicated that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are two key factors currently driving investments in charging infrastructure.

On average, those surveyed indicated they would be completing 12 charging infrastructure projects over the next five years, but nine of those (75%) would not be completed without BIL and IRA incentives.

The survey also revealed that leaders expect microgrids and DERs will help reduce the total cost of electricity to charge commercial EV fleets.

To read more survey results, download Market Survey: Commercial EV Charging.

About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.

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