Case Study

Most customers want to charge their electric vehicles at night. What can you do to encourage off-peak charging?

Categories

  • Evaluation Planning
  • Pilot Programs

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1.  Leveraged research to identify an effective solution to tracking residential charging patterns

2. Fostered in-depth collaboration with client to leverage mutual expertise

3. Used an integrated pilot logic modeling approach to define pilot theory

About Our Client

This company has a 135-year history, with a focus on safe, reliable, affordable energy service and a commitment to great customer service and helping to make their communities better places to live and work.

The Business Situation

Adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to increase among this client’s customer base. Given that a large proportion of these customers charge their vehicles at home during the evening, there is a growing need to understand charging behavior to shift the load from EVs to off-peak times. The client developed a pilot program to test and identify effective education and incentive-based methods to encourage off-peak charging that would, in turn, mitigate the impact of wide-spread EV adoption on grid stability.

EMI Consulting was asked to help assess potential technologies that track charging times, one of which would be used as part of a residential electric vehicle charging pilot. The project was a highly-collaborative engagement that would support the development of critical aspects of their comprehensive portfolio of EV pilot programs.

Our Approach

EMI Consulting assembled a multidisciplinary team to research the selected potential technology options. The nascent nature of these technologies presented unique challenges to our assessment. We collected secondary data on over 10 aspects of the technologies and our approach enabled a close partnership with our client, where we developed four key criteria to most-uniformly evaluate these technologies: (1) current technology effectiveness at tracking charging times, (2) cost of solution, (3) scalability of solution, and (4) programmatic risk of using this solution long-term. We held weekly status meetings with our client to share findings and vet ideas until we were able to confidently recommend the technology options that most comprehensively met the needs of the residential pilot. We also provided a set of education/incentive methodologies to test during the pilot to determine what offer/approach might motivate customers to charge off-peak, a critical component of the pilot design.

Following this assessment, our client engaged EMI Consulting with a continued partnership to determine a pilot portfolio plan, which would map out how to optimize the pilots throughout their lifecycle. The plan included a description of each pilot’s design, its associated goals, and what data would be used to support an understanding of pilot performance.

To support this process, EMI Consulting developed pilot logic models that considered all pilot activities, the output of those activities, and the pilot’s short- and long-term goals. Our efforts resulted in the establishment of a set of key performance indicators (KPIs), and methods for how the collected information would be used to continuously improve their pilots after launch. Throughout, EMI Consulting provided a truly collaborative partnership; our team worked in concert with utility staff to ensure that the resulting design was appropriate for our client’s needs and for the people tasked with delivering on the pilots.

The Result

For these engagements, EMI Consulting generated two key pieces of work. The first included a vetted technology to track charging times along with a set of methodologies to test what approach encourages customers to charge off-peak. The second was a continuous improvement plan for all six EV pilots, including logic models, KPIs, supporting indicators and research questions. Leveraging our client’s insight allowed us to propose a solution that would be immediately implemented by the client. A pilot such as this, which will create a greater understanding of how to influence electric vehicle charging patterns, has widespread applicability to help the broader community with peak load mitigation in the face of growing electric vehicle adoption.

Interested in learning more?

Contact us to talk with a team member.

(206) 621-1160

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