An Electric Vehicle Charger To Help Balance The Grid

Mar 15, 2013

Charging your electric vehicle could help balance the grid and save you money. Northwest researchers have developed a smart charger to do just that.

Northwest researchers have developed a smart charger to help balance the grid and save the user money.
Credit Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Right when you get home from work, you may cook dinner, turn on the TV, power up your computer. And if you have an electric vehicle, you may plug it in to charge for the next day. Multiple this by millions of households. All this activity at once creates a huge strain on the grid.

Michael Kintner-Meyer is with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. He says a new “grid-friendly” car charger that the lab has developed could reduce that strain:

“We can do it much more efficiently, with less resources and less emissions associated with it, using the electric grid-friendly charging technology," Kintner-Meyer says. 

The charger communicates with the grid. It may decide to charge your electric vehicle later at night when there’s less energy demand.

Kintner-Meyer says people who use this technology could save $150 on their electricity bill each year. The catch? The utility infrastructure isn’t there yet.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio