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EoT - Disrupting the Demand for Oil and Invigorating Electric Utilities

EoT is impactful on the world economy. While not yet seen as a “disruptive element” to the oil industry, it is trending that way, and it has a current impact on the demand for oil to which Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is watching closely. From the perspective of an electric utility, Electric Vehicles (EVs) are heating up the market place. They are a win for the environment, spin meters, and are quickly becoming a good source for manageable load and grid services. 

Disrupting the Demand for Oil – A Slow Roll
From a “Big Oil” perspective, the EV market is considered quite small. According to a report by CNBC, electric cars and light duty trucks (including hybrids) in the last year displaced only about 50,000 barrels a day of oil in a world that is using 100 million barrels a day.

However, experts such as Morgan Stanley are upping their projections for EV growth. Morgan Stanley analysts recently issued a forecast for global miles driven to rise to 32 trillion by 2030, up from 11 trillion currently. They see the forecast as being bullish for electric cars and light duty trucks. Also, according to OPEC, a larger-than-expected boom in EV sales could cause global oil demand to peak and flatten out in the late 2030s. If a quarter of the world’s cars have batteries, global oil demand would reach a plateau of about 109 million barrels a day during the second half of the 2030s, OPEC said in its annual World Oil Outlook.

This trend, along with more aggressive fuel economy standards, and ride sharing, will create trends that will reduce oil consumption in the years ahead. As a result, the demand for oil will grow much slower starting in the next decade. 

Invigorating Electric Utilities in the U.S.
From an electric utility perspective, EVs are a disruptive technology. Per the current trend, by 2025 there should be 36 million EVs on the road. Also by 2040, EVs are expected to account for 30 percent of new car sales. The need for charging infrastructure and electricity (for charging) is a win in this space.

But EV charging infrastructure isn’t just a new revenue stream, it’s also a new source for manageable load and grid services. The 2018 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) reports that current forecasts predict the EVs annual energy consumption to rise from a few terawatt-hours (TWh) a year in 2017 to over 100 TWh by 2030. It also suggests that managed charging and Vehicle to Grid (V2G) may play a significant role in the future as EV energy consumption continues to grow.

Between January and March of 2018, SEPA conducted an online survey where they received data from 155 utilities across the U.S. Many of those who responded indicated that they are adding EVs into their own fleets and are offering workplace charging to their staff. In addition, responding utilities also indicated that they are in the intermediate stages of various EV-related activities and programs such as Public Use Charging, Special EV Rates, and Residential and Commercial Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) incentives, etc. Most relevant to the Electric Utility space is that a handful of these utilities have already rolled out managed charging and V2G pilots, but it is predicted that more deployments will come.

The OATI Value
OATI has long recognized the exciting trends and benefits that EVs bring to society and utilities. EVolution™, driven by OATI, is a customizable turnkey smart EV charge station solution that includes EV charge stations (engineering and installation), the secure smart charge station network management software, a robust drivers app and 24/7 customer service.

Furthermore, we have deployed several key managed charged station and V2G projects. Where V2G technology is still developing, we are in the forefront of utilizing bi-directional charge stations to provide grid services. 

OATI has more than 20 years of experience in delivering mission-critical solutions and hosts its solutions in the highly secure OATI Private Cloud, built specifically for the rigors of the energy industry. The OATI Private Cloud data centers are supported by renewable energy resources, further emphasizing a greener solution.

About the Author:
Linda Stevens is Associate Vice President of Smart Grid Sales for OATI. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership from Concordia University, St. Paul, MN. Ms. Stevens has dedicated her career to the energy industry. She began in an Investor Owned Utility where she learned firsthand about utility operations. This experience transitioned to an energy industry software and technology sales career path. Through a network of direct OATI sales executives, key technology alliances, and an industry leading distribution channel, she drives the strategic sales initiatives for OATI’s grid modernization portfolio.

March 18, 2019