The Rise of Electric Vehicles and Their Integration in the Energy Systems

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Transportation is currently the least-diversified energy demand sector, with over 90% of energy use coming from petroleum. As a result, transportation recently became the largest source of GHG emissions in the U.S. and mobility needs for passenger and freight are growing rapidly. However, after over a century of petroleum dominance, new disruptive technologies and business models offer a pathway to decarbonize the sector. Transportation is at a turning point. On the horizon lies a future where affordable and abundant renewable electricity can be used to power cost-competitive battery electric vehicles (EVs) and produce energy-dense low-carbon fuels enabling to fully decarbonize transportation systems across all modes. EVs are experiencing a rapid rise in popularity over the past few years as the technology has matured and costs have declined, and support for clean transportation has promoted awareness, increased charging opportunities, and facilitated EV adoption. Large-scale EV adoption would both disrupt the transportation sector and lead to far-reaching consequences for electricity systems including new opportunities for significant load growth. And the integration of EVs into power systems presents unique opportunities for synergistic improvement of the efficiency and economics of mobility and the power grid, especially complementing renewables. The demand-side flexibility provided by managed EV charging offers significant potential benefits for the grid over multiple timescales and applications. Managed charging can support power system planning and operations during normal and extreme conditions, benefitting EV owners and other electricity consumers alike. At NREL, we're laying the scientific groundwork to get there. Among many other things, our research is finding ways for EVs to support grid planning and operations across several timescales and to fully exploit the synergies between EVs and renewables to provide transformative sustainable solutions for the integrated energy systems of the future.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2021
EventInternational Symposium on Renewable Energy and Sustainability 2020 - Mexico City, Mexico
Duration: 8 Nov 202112 Nov 2021


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Renewable Energy and Sustainability 2020
CityMexico City, Mexico

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-81402


  • electric vehicles
  • sustainable mobility


Dive into the research topics of 'The Rise of Electric Vehicles and Their Integration in the Energy Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this