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UCF to Help Develop ‘Smart Grid’ for Electric Cars

Electric vehicles only parking lot in London. (Credit: Flickr @ Luke McKernan http://www.flickr.com/photos/33718942@N07/)

While the increasing number of electric cars carries is expected to reduce the fuel demand, there is some concern about how the widespread use of electric vehicles would affect the stability of the electrical grid. What would be the best way to integrate plug-in vehicles with the electrical grid? Now, with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation the University of Central Florida will help to answer this question.

The Electric Vehicle Transportation Center operated by UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa is a newly funded, four-year, $9 million research effort to help develop the nation’s electric-vehicle transportation network. Research conducted by the center will help transportation planners prepare our nation’s highways for the influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), while developing “smart grid” applications that will strengthen the ability of our electric system to accommodate the power demands of electric vehicles.

PEVs need a reliable, predictable network of charging stations to allow them to travel long distances without the fear of “running out of fuel.” Workplace charging, community charging, and highway fast-charging systems are in development. A new PEV transportation network designed in conjunction with the modernization of our electric grid system will result in a sustainable highway and energy network.
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