||Several automakers are preparing for the next generation of passenger transportation,
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). These vehicles are slated to be commercially
available starting in 2010. PHEVs operate similar to Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
which utilize a significant portion of energy from the battery for drive; however
PHEV batteries have the capability of recharging through most standard electrical
outlets. For these vehicle owners, the demand for gasoline will be offset and replaced
by an increased demand in electricity. Using data from the California Independent
Systems Operator (CAISO), this report sought to understand how different charging
scenarios for PHEVs could impact electricity demand in California. Furthermore, this
study aimed to understand how the additional demand from plug-in hybrid vehicles would
affect the supply price of generating electricity.
The results from this study estimated that PHEVs would require between 2% of California’s
summer peak capacity for a low market penetrations and 8% for a high market penetrations
of PHEVs. At most, a $5/MWh increase in electricity price can be expected for a 5%
market penetration of PHEVs charging under a normal distribution scenario in the evening.
Under the same scenario, a 20% market penetration of plug-ins will result in a maximum
supply price increase of $20/MWh. Nighttime charging of these vehicles can help level
the load curve up to 25% during peak generation days and can decrease the price impact
by an average of 30%. Furthermore, the introduction of plug-ins onto CAISO’s grid
can increase the amount of electricity needed to meet the minimum load demand, requiring
more baseload generation. Under a scenario in which PHEVs are allowed to charge during
peak hours, the additional demand can lead to constraints on the existing “peaking
units” in California.