Electric cars present utilities with a new opportunity

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As the auto industry moves to electrification, utilities have the chance to provide smart power when drivers need it. A more intelligent grid will make energy use smarter, while increasing revenue.

Electric cars are becoming more popular. Recent research reports estimate that four million plug-in electric vehicles have been sold worldwide since 2011, and sales in the US alone were on track to exceed 300,000 in 2018.

Auto manufacturers are responding to this rising demand. Ford announced in January 2019 that all its vehicles would be available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric options. Volvo, Jaguar, and INFINITI have made similar moves. By 2040, 55% of global car sales are expected to be electric vehicles.

This move to electric vehicles is a revenue opportunity for utilities. Right now, 80% of vehicles are charged at home but, as more drivers depend on a plug to keep their wheels moving, the grid will become an important part of the drive.

Capgemini’s Perry Stoneman, Global Energy and Utilities subject matter expert, and I discuss how utilities can prepare to meet this demand and how digital technologies can make the grid smarter. For example, IoT and artificial intelligence can connect with the sensors in a car to precisely predict where power will be needed and when.

Listen to how integrating electric cars into intelligent energy networks will be the revenue of the future for utilities on our latest podcast.

For more energy and utilities insights and analysis, tune into our World Energy Markets Observatory podcast and read our blog on five trends that will transform energy and utilities in 2019.

And for more on electric vehicles, check out this paper on on the EV charging infrastructure ecosystem and emerging business models.

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