U-M, Utilidata Team Up on EV Charging Behavior Study

Utilidata, an industry grid-edge technology company in Rhode Island, announced a research partnership with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in Ann Arbor to study the relationship between electric vehicle (EV) driving and charging behaviors to better understand how those behaviors impact the electric grid.
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UMTRI classroom
U-M’s Transportation Research Institute is partnering with Utilidata to gather information on how EVs are charged. // Photo courtesy of UMTRI

Utilidata, an industry grid-edge technology company in Rhode Island, announced a research partnership with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in Ann Arbor to study the relationship between electric vehicle (EV) driving and charging behaviors to better understand how those behaviors impact the electric grid.

Utilizing Utilidata’s smart grid chips, a first-of-its-kind distributed artificial intelligence (AI) platform, researchers have installed the technology on several EV charging stations across the U-M campus to collect data on the impact on the grid.

The collection of real-time voltage, current, and power data at the edge of the grid allows researchers to analyze and detect EV charging patterns at each location. This data will be analyzed alongside vehicle data from a group of participants within the research study who have a vehicle monitoring device installed on their EV.

Data from the monitoring device includes start and stop time for charging, location of charging, trips taken, and acceleration/deceleration. Closely analyzing driving and charging behavior will lead to a better understanding of how to manage EV demand on the grid and help utilities develop customer smart charging programs.

As UMTRI researchers continue to collect and analyze data, they’ll have access to the recently announced U-M Electric Vehicle Center for further collaboration. Results from the UMTRI study are anticipated later this year.

“As more people invest in electric vehicles, our electric grid needs to be ready to support the influx in energy demand,” says Josh Brumberger, CEO at Utilidata. “We’re thrilled to have partners like UMTRI whose research and studies have made major, lasting impacts on the transportation industry. Access to real-time insights of when EVs are charging will help utilities identify charging locations and design better EV programs for customers.”

Jim Sayer, director of UMTRI, says, “As we transition to electric transportation, the industry needs cutting edge technologies, like Utilidata’s smart grid chip, to meet the moment and bring us into the future. Partnering with Utilidata allows us to combine their energy and grid expertise with our decades of experience in conducting large scale research projects, data collection, and deployments that lead to a safer, more efficient, and equitable transportation and mobility future.”

As the transition to cleaner technologies continues, specifically in the automotive space, understanding the potential impact of these new technologies on the grid will be crucial.

EVs are projected to make up almost 50 percent of all car sales by 2030, and Michigan’s goal is to build the infrastructure necessary to support 2 million EVs on its roads by that time.