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Webinar: Resilience and Futureproofing Considerations for EV Charging Infrastructure

June 27, 2023

The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) hosted a webinar on resilience and futureproofing considerations for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

This webinar covered topics such as maintaining performance, reliability, and accessibility of EV charging stations during power outages and extreme weather events, maximizing the usefulness of charging stations near evacuation routes during emergencies, protecting charging infrastructure from extreme weather, and creating space for future expansion and power upgrades. The views and lessons learned expressed are informational only and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Joint Office.

The panelists included:

  • Caley Johnson, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • Shmuel Bismuth, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
  • Diego Lopez, Northern Colorado Clean Cities Coalition
  • Mandeep Guragain, EVgo.

Speakers also discussed considerations for building resilience into site analysis and deployment, including optimal siting along key evacuation corridors, key steps for coordinating and installing EV charging for resilience, incorporating on-site power generation and energy storage capacity, and integrating mobile energy storage systems.

Key takeaways 

  • Resilience means being able to evacuate people effectively before a damaging event or a natural disaster, being able to help in the recovery operations, and being able to get back to normal operations as quickly as possible.

  • With this definition, EVs can increase or decrease resilience to extreme events. EVs can increase resilience by increasing fuel diversity. Conversely, evacuation needs to be more carefully planned for EVs because they have shorter ranges and longer dwell times. 

  • There are different types of resiliency solutions for different types of fleets.  PG&E created a pilot project that tested EV charging opportunities along evacuation corridors by strategically placing mobile EV chargers at customer resource centers such that they can charge for roughly 15 miles or 10 minutes of charging to get them to a place where the grid is still up and active.

  • The Colorado Department of Transportation developed a resiliency evaluation framework, which considers the robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness, and rapidity characteristics of a system.

  • EVgo established the Connect the Watts initiative, which seeks to bring the electric vehicle charging infrastructure community together to identify and deploy best practices for charger deployment. It is important for charging infrastructure providers to communicate with utilities and site hosts when sizing current infrastructure to plan for future charging demand.