Can energy efficiency offset electric vehicle load?

A non-wires alternatives study: How energy efficiency, demand response and managed charging can cost-effectively offset electric vehicle peak load growth in Alberta

Managing the peak impacts and distribution costs of EV adoption

Electric vehicles (EVs) are seeing increased adoption across Canada – including in Alberta. At-home charging for electric vehicles adds a significant load to the distribution network at the transformer, or neighbourhood, level. With the expected growth in EV adoption over the next 10 years, this increased load on the system could increase costs to the province’s distribution systems – and customers – if left unmanaged.

Energy Efficiency Alberta hired a leading energy consulting firm to study whether energy efficiency, demand response, and smart charging initiatives – collectively, demand-side management (DSM) – could cost-effectively mitigate the potential distribution impacts of EVs at the transformer level in Alberta.

What were the study’s results?

Energy efficiency, demand response, and smart charging initiatives:

  • are 2.5 to 24 times more cost-effective than traditional “wires” upgrades
  • could avoid peak electricity overloading caused by EV adoption at a cost savings of over $7,600 to $10,000 per kilowatt (kW)
  • must work together to sufficiently reduce impacts at high levels of EV uptake

Read the backgrounder here.

Read the full study: How Energy Efficiency, Demand Response and Managed Charging Can Cost-Effectively Offset Electric Vehicle Load Growth in Alberta