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The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has inaugurated a new center that will work to ensure that EVs, charging stations, communications, and networking systems work in unison with the electric grid. The Electric Vehicle-Smart Grid Interoperability Center, located at Argonne National Laboratory just outside of Chicago, was established to harmonize emerging EV and smart grid technologies.

On hand for the opening ceremony were United States Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other representatives from the Energy Department, the European Commission, and Argonne National Lab, including Giovanni De Santi, Director of the JRC Institute for energy and transport (IET); Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC); Phyllis Yoshida, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, Asia and the Americas; and Eric Isaacs, Director of Argonne National Laboratory. | Photo courtesy of Argonne National Lab.

The emergence of EVs is providing new revenue opportunities for local utilities. Accrding to the DOE,”Large-scale capital investment by companies for the deployment of EVs, chargers and the smart grid will depend on the ability of consumers to conveniently, safely and securely charge -- anywhere, anytime. This will require close linkages between the automotive and utility industries as new demand for electricity brings the need for new investments in power generation and grid systems.”

The new center will focus on three key areas including establishing requirements and test procedures to assess EV-electric vehicle supply equipment compatibility; developing and verifying connectivity technologies, communication protocols and standards; and identifying areas where new standards or technologies are needed.

The work at Argonne will also be complemented by the opening of a European Interoperability Center established by the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Center at facilities in Ispra, Italy, and Petten, Netherlands, in 2014.

The DOE reports, “Employing common test procedures, interoperability standards and test comparisons, the U.S. government and EC will work together to ensure harmonized technologies and to prevent unnecessary regulatory divergence, helping foster the development of the transatlantic EV market and create new jobs.”



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