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ectric vehicles represent an invaluable resource to the American electricity system, especially as it transitions into the ultimate vision of a so-called “Smart Grid.” Far from being a risk or a burden on our electrical system, EVs are a massive storage resource waiting in the wings—ready to provide valuable new services and reduce costs for grid operators, utilities and ratepayers alike.
You’ve probably heard the term “Smart Grid,” but what is it? The Smart Grid is a next-generation electricity network equipped with communications and control systems. Those added controls make it possible to efficiently and dynamically manage energy supply and demand. The key is to be able to fine-tune how much energy is generated, and how much energy is needed at any given moment. An electric vehicle is critical because it can communicate with the grid, and respond to calls for storing and discharging energy.