Including EV load in power system planning

Overview of the status and impact of the innovation

Innovation 2


Planning for the grid and forecasting future demand as EV adoption accelerates must consider the extra load from EVs in both the short and long terms. The extra load from EVs would be calculated based on the number of EVs on the road as well as the potential for smart charging and V2G functionality to make the grid more flexible. The additional EV load will create two main challenges, grid congestion and component overloading, while the main opportunity is EVs’ ability to absorb power fluctuations and provide grid resiliency. The fact that EVs will be connected at many different charging locations on the grid adds extra complexity to planning efforts. Different scenarios of EV penetration and grid impacts can help plan future needs for generation capacity, transmission and distribution.


Planning and monitoring for flexible loads within power and charging systems will help mitigate congestion and defer grid upgrades, while identifying grid extension needs. Power system planning for flexible loads will also reduce the impacts of electric trucks and the large-scale charging hubs for long-distance travel in or around large urban centres.

BOX 3.18 Smart planning for EV charging in Hamburg, Germany

The peak load in the distribution network in Hamburg is expected to increase 40% from the current 1.8 GW over the next 20 years, mainly due to increases in EVs, heat pumps and public transport electrification. Charging the 100 000 EVs expected to be on the road by 2030 (out of 700 000 total vehicles) could critically overload transformers. But Hamburg intends to reduce the need for new investments in lines, cables and transformers through a combination of digital technologies, new business models and market regulation to allow smart charging. The proposed solution (estimated to cost EUR 2 million) would avoid a EUR 20 million network upgrade.

Source: (IRENA, 2019).