New models of electric vehicles are hitting the market at a rapid pace as efforts to combat climate change kick into high gear. While electric vehicles (EVs) eliminate gas emissions directly correlated with vehicle exhaust, in many cases, fossil fuels are still used to produce the electricity to charge them.
Microgrids provide an alternative to traditional power sources for EV charging. The most common microgrid solutions incorporate a renewable energy source – such as solar, wind or renewable natural gas (RNG) – paired with battery energy storage. This type of charging solution can provide a host of benefits to a company looking to add EVs to its fleet, including:
- Cost savings – Microgrids provide cost savings in several ways. Multiple energy production and use scenarios can be considered using energy modeling software, including a schedule that shifts energy use from high-peak hours to off-peak times. This shift in use time can reduce energy usage costs by as much as 75 percent.
- Resilience – Some people are concerned about grid power outages affecting their electric vehicle charging. This is not nearly as concerning when using renewable microgrid technology with battery storage to charge EVs. The system can continue to meet fleet charging demands for extended periods based on the type of distributed energy resources (DERs) implemented.
- Sustainability – One major motivation for transitioning to an EV fleet is to decrease the use of fossil fuels. While EVs are one way to cut back on fossil fuel usage, the environmental benefits are even greater if the electricity you’re charging that fleet with comes from a clean power source like wind or solar.
- Scalability – As EVs become more prevalent or even required in some regions, your EV charging needs will likely increase. Microgrids are scalable for your needs today and in the future.
The right time to implement a microgrid is different for everyone. If you have EV fleets that run multiple shifts, if your utility experiences power limitations and/or if your company is committed to sustainability goals, a microgrid may be a great solution to support your EV charging requirements.