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Literature Review: Potential Impacts of Plug-In

Electric Vehicles on Electric Power Systems

S. López, J. Caicedo, M. Mamaní, A. A. Romero, G. Rattá
Instituto de Energía Eléctrica
Universidad Nacional de San Juan – CONICET
San Juan, Argentina

Abstract— The air in most large Latin American cities is probability that warming exceeds 2°C. Moreover, as was
polluted, primarily because their automotive fleet is composed of concluded in [3], every year of delayed action increases the
internal-combustion engine vehicles. This also implies a strong chances of exceeding 2°C warming.
fossil-fuel dependency. Petroleum fuels are nonrenewable and, as Furthermore, and from an economic point of view, from
a consequence, the current mobility model becomes
unsustainable. Great expectations have been put in electric
contemplating the different forecasted scenarios for future oil
vehicles. Such vehicles are already penetrating the automotive prices, a common characteristic appears: increasing prices [2].
market and, soon, will be part of the alternatives of mobility in These two highlighted environmental and economic facts
countries of Latin America. Therefore, research and (together other extremely important technological issues) are
development efforts must be conducted in order to facilitate the some of the key aspects to understand why if early antecedents
transition between the old technology, of internal-combustion of e-mobility first appeared in the late 1830s, electric vehicles
engine vehicles, to the new e-mobility technology, in an efficient have only been considered now, to be part of the scheme of
and effective way. At the Instituto de Energía Eléctrica, a three- mobility in the future society. In fact, plug-in electric vehicles
year research project has begun. The scope of the project
and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and in what follows
includes the analysis of potential impacts of massive penetration
of electric vehicles on both: the power system and the way in Electric Vehicles (EVs), are set to be introduced into the mass
which it is traditionally operated. In this paper, a partial result of market as a near-term technology to contribute to reduce both
the natural first step in a scientific research is presented, that is a oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions from the
literature/bibliographic review. The paper focuses on three main transportation sector.
issues: the impacts on the network planning, on the power quality EVs obtain their fuel from the grid, when they are plugged
and on the tariff schemes. After a brief introduction and a into a standard electric power outlet (either at home, at work,
quantitative analysis of the available literature on the subject, or at parking facilities) to charge their batteries. Therefore,
each one of the issues is separately presented. Finally, the surely the massive connection of EVs will impact on several
conclusions of the paper are given.
aspects related to traditional power systems, e.g., on the way in
Index Terms— Network planning, Plug-in electric vehicle, which the electric power infrastructure is operated and its
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Power Quality, Reliability, Smart expansion is planned, on its reliability, on the business model,
Grid, Tariff, Time of use. etc. Then, e-mobility technology brings several techno-
economic challenges for power engineers.
I. INTRODUCTION Many studies regarding EVs are being performed around
On December 11 in Mexico, at the 2010 United Nations the world. However, much less has been done in developing
Climate Change Conference, the Cancun Agreements were countries and even less particularly on Latin America.
reached and signed. On that occasion, industrialized countries Therefore, important research and development efforts must be
agreed to help developing nations deal with climate change. conducted in order to facilitate the transition between the old
Several main objectives were declared, however, the one technology, of internal-combustion engine vehicles, to the new
concerned with this paper is mitigation. I. e., textually: e-mobility technology, in an efficient and effective way,
“Establish clear goals and a timely schedule for reducing especially in developing nations.
human-generated greenhouse gas emissions over time to keep At the Instituto de Energía Eléctrica, a three-year research
the global average temperature rise below two degrees [1].” In project, on the subject, has started. This project is funded by
reference [2], the International Agency of Energy states that to the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica
reach the 2ºC goal requires the long-term concentration of (ANPCyT), in Argentina. In this paper, partial results of the
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to be limited to about 450 natural first step of any scientific research are presented, that is
parts per million of carbon-dioxide equivalent (ppm CO2-eq). a literature/bibliographic review. The paper focuses on three
Despite this laudable objective, scientific community estimates main issues: the impacts on the network planning, on the power
that even if global emission rates are stabilized at present-day quality and on the tariff schemes. By giving an overview on
levels and with zero emissions after 2030, there is a 25% these topics, the paper demonstrates possible future directions

978-1-4799-6251-8/14/$31.00 ©2014 IEEE

of research in power systems and its strong relationship with and only few documents come from Latin American countries,
the e-mobility; thus providing a suitable framework of analysis i.e., 174 references were found.
to the researchers interested in dealing with this new
United States
technology and its related problems. China
South Korea
The literature review is an essential step in any research United Kingdom

project. It must ensure obtaining the most relevant information France
in the field of study, from a base of knowledge, which is Italy
usually extensive. For instance, in this article a set of search Taiwan
rules have been defined and used in the extensive catalog of India
citations and abstracts from journals and conferences: Australia
Elsevier’s Scopus [4]. The number of references found by each Iran
Latin America 174
one of the rules, and filtering only documents belonging to the
engineering field, is reported in Table I. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000
TABLE I Publications
IN THE BASE OF KNOWLEDGE IN SCOPUS In this context, some of the main references found through
Type of document the different search rules are analyzed in what follows.
Search rule Conf. Other Total
Book Article Review
“electric vehicle” 24 5,154 219 10,260 1,180 16,837
“electric vehicle” AND The large-scale deployment of EVs on the power system
0 180 12 318 64 574 implies significant impacts on the electricity demand, and
“electric vehicle” AND therefore, in the generation, transmission and distribution
0 84 3 188 15 290
“power quality” system planning. However, the current trend of the consulted
“electric vehicle” AND references, in relation to the expansion, shows that major
0 101 3 170 25 299
harmonic impacts will affect the distribution networks. One of the
“electric vehicle” AND reasons of why there is prolific research in the distribution area
0 21 0 26 2 49
tariff can be reflected in [5], by the research group of the Department
(*) Other: Book Chapter, Conference Review, Note, Short Survey, Business
Article, Report, Letter, Abstract Report, Editorial, Erratum, Article in Press. of Energy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, from US.
Survey data: 21/02/2014. This group has determined that there is sufficient power
capacity installed at transmission and generation levels, but the
situation is not the same for the power infrastructure in
distribution networks.
2500 Total In this sense, in [6] a quantitative study of the incorporation
Number of documents

Book of EVs on the distribution network of Santiago de Chile is

2000 Article developed. This methodology allows scheduling the expansion
Conference Paper of the network, estimating an increase of the load from the
current characteristics of automotive fleet that exists in every
area of the city. Moreover, various scenarios for the inclusion
of EVs are presented through a percentage of the current
vehicle fleet for a period of analysis that contemplates 2020 as
deadline. As a conclusion of this work, a large increase in the
total demand, for the assessed scenarios of EVs penetration, is
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2014 rejected. This result is clear since a large penetration of EVs in
Year Santiago city is not expected until 2020. However, the
Fig. 1. Temporal evolution of the document production on the subject disaggregated demand could affect some local points of the
“electric vehicle”. distribution network even in scenarios of low penetration. I.e.,
By searching the keywords “electric vehicle”, 16,837 these affectations are mainly due to the number of vehicles
results were found. This indicates that there is a huge base of connected to the feeders, the superposition of effects when the
knowledge on this topic. However, only hundreds of references EVs power consumption is at the peak of the demand, etc.
are related to the specific impacts that are dealt with in this In [7], Mahalik et al., carried out a study of impacts on the
paper. In Fig.1, a plot of the temporal evolution by type of electric system of the State of Illinois, located in the Midwest
documents is presented. It is notable how e-mobility is of the US. This work is evaluated in a similar way to [6],
becoming a fertile field for exploration, in which research is assessing the future impacts due to additional load that
increasing exponentially. However, as shown in Fig. 2, most of represent the connection of EVs. The presented methodology
the research, currently developed, is concentrated in simulates the behavior of the system in different scenarios of
industrialized countries, mainly in United States and China, EV penetration, in order to compare the impact which could be
incurred in each case from a base of EVs, baseline scenario. As The relevant contributions of [11] are:
in [6], the scenarios consider the inclusion of this type of •The development of a multi-objective scheduling algorithm
vehicles in the system taking into account a horizon of that integrates the penetration of EVs altogether with
planning, in which the penetration is estimated through a distributed generation through a generic mathematical
percentage of the vehicle fleet of the city. As a result of the formulation.
methodology, the increase in demand in the power system for •The development of a probabilistic annual model of the
the analyzed period is 0.8%, which represents a slight increase energy consumption for a fleet of EVs based on Monte Carlo
in demand of power and, which must be provided through simulations.
additional generation. •The investigation of the interaction of renewable distributed
In [8], Poch et al., applied a similar methodology to the one generation units and requirements of EVs load.
presented in [7], but in the West of US. Moreover, the obtained The work presented in [12] by ElNozahy and Salama
results on the impacts of the connection of EVs are lightly constitutes an original contribution to assess the impact of EVs
different. First of all, the study shows that those generation on distribution systems, since it gives a framework based on
units that provide base load in the system are not able to supply Monte Carlo simulations to treat various uncertainties that
the additional load that will represent EVs. Furthermore, it influence the process of charge, such as individual driving
evaluates the possible impact of the transmission line habits, the level and type of EV to be connected, and
congestion on the dispatch of generators. This last impact is uncertainties associated with the load level. This study gives an
associated with the constraints of the generators that can lead to idea of the impacts foreseen by its probability of occurrence
a more costly system operation. and also identifies the more vulnerable physical assets of the
In [9], McCarthy and Wolfs performed some work that distribution system.
assessed the impact of EVs connection on the power system of
the city of Perth, Australia. The planning horizon is ten years IV. “ELECTRIC VEHICLE” AND “POWER QUALITY”
(2010-2019). In this case, studies of the impacts on generators, The integration of EVs within the power system could
underground cables, overhead lines and power transformers, affect the quality of supply causing technical problems in
are performed. In that work, the authors determined that for distribution networks, such as increased losses, harmonics,
any charging scenario of EVs the electric power may be imbalance, voltage sags, etc. [13]. Being chargers for EVs
supplied with the current generation fleet and the assets of the based on power electronics (nonlinear loads), they could cause
transmission system, since they are underutilized most of the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) problems that must be
time. Distribution level was not analyzed in [9]. analyzed through different studies: transient analysis,
Reference [10] is a work of similar characteristics to those identification and power flow calculation of harmonic loads,
already presented, but the developed methodology is applied to and so on. According to the bibliography reviewed by the
two distribution areas. An area consists of 6,000 residential authors, most studies of power quality related to the connection
customers connected to the low-voltage level while the of EVs are concerned with harmonics and voltage imbalance.
remaining area is an industrial and residential area with more Other disturbances such as voltage drops (including voltage
than 61,000 customers. The presented methodology first deals sags) and noise have also been studied. Reviews of applicable
with knowledge of the actual areas of distribution. Then, standards and solutions to power quality disturbances were also
scenarios of penetration are generated by means of a load found in bibliography consulted.
evaluator for EVs connected in peak and off-peak of load.
Finally, the model based on the concept of optimally adapted A. Harmonics
network is employed for planning. It identifies where it is Harmonics are components of voltage or current
convenient to make investments. The results in this paper show waveforms, integer multiples of the fundamental frequency
quantitatively how the investment costs are dependent on the (usually 50 Hz or 60 Hz) [14]. Such harmonic components,
charging strategies of EVs analyzed in each penetration which generate distortion of the waveform, are produced by
scenario. nonlinear loads, e.g., EV battery chargers. Orr et al., studied in
In [11], a study applied to a distribution system is [15] the harmonic currents, voltage distortion and power of
presented. It proposes a multi-year and multi-objective different EV battery chargers. This reference is one of the
planning algorithm that allows adapting scenarios of high pioneer works related to the impact of EVs on the power
penetration of EVs, with the injection of renewable distributed system, which dates from 1984. Documentation of five types of
generation. It minimizes associated cost, such as reinforcement EV battery chargers is presented, including battery chargers
of the system and energy losses. That work, on one hand, both with & without smoothing current inductor, and with &
solves the problem of planning that determines the optimal without controlled rectifier. Moreover, the expected harmonic
level of penetration of EVs on a system of 38 buses. A meta- current, active power, reactive power and hourly power factor
heuristic tool of genetic algorithms is employed to define the values were determined. In addition, in [15] the effect of the
optimal level of renewable distributed generation that will enter random location of each type of charger along a typical
into the system at all of its stages, such as location, size and distribution network was considered. This allows a study closer
year of installation of the units. This planning problem is to reality, but not taking into account other random parameters
defined in terms of non-linear mixed integer multi-objective such as the initial state of charge of batteries and the initial
programming. time of charging.
In 1998, Staats et al. presented a statistical method in [16] algorithm was proven in [21] through a case study applied to
to predict the effect of EV batter charging on the harmonic the IEEE 13-node system. Results of simulation allow
voltage levels. Load modeling as sources of harmonic currents analyzing the impact of EVs on voltage unbalance in the
and the distribution network modeling for each hour of interest distribution network.
and each harmonic frequency are proposed. The method was
C. Other disturbances
validated through a case study on a specific distribution
network and results were presented. Summarizing, the method Connecting EVs cause other disturbances such as voltage
allows for obtaining the Total Harmonic Distortion in Voltage sags and noise, among others. In [22], voltage drops caused by
(THDV) in the system nodes, caused by the injection of small wind turbines and EVs are studied from a statistical
harmonic currents, allowing evaluating if THDV limits set by model which considers randomness of loads, wind speed and
standards are exceeded. the charge level of EV batteries. An important contribution of
In 2011, J. Trovão et al. described the power quality the methodology proposed in [22] is that it allows for swift
characterization of battery chargers for two EVs in [17]: a analysis of the daily probability of voltage violations in a
forklift and a car for private use. Voltage, current and active distribution network, thus providing effective solutions in
and reactive power were monitored during the battery regulation, by short-term and medium-term planning.
charging, from which the Total Harmonic Distortion in Current Voltage sags are short reductions of nominal voltage in
(THDI) and the THDV were determined for each case. Finally, 10% to 90%, with duration from half cycle to one minute [14].
reconfiguration of the network is presented as a solution, and In [23], Lee et al. carried out a study of sags and voltage
the concept of load leveling is introduced as an alternative to unbalance caused by EVs in distribution networks. A model of
minimize the impact of EV chargers on distribution networks. battery charger for EVs in ATP was developed and simulations
In 2013, Jiang, et al., developed a comprehensive in a distribution network were performed, considering
probabilistic approach based on Monte Carlo simulation to parameters such as penetration of EVs and the amount
evaluate the impact of EV battery chargers in the distribution connected each hour a day. EVs are considered loads and
network in [18], which considers randomness in parameters charging points are concentrated, therefore, the connection of
such as the charging time, charging duration and location of several EVs can cause voltage sags in distribution feeders. This
vehicles. Moreover, a simple forecast model of EV penetration is assessed through a case study in [23].
based on consumer trends is presented to study future In [24], simple models are proposed to study emissions of
scenarios. Furthermore, the electric model of a typical electromagnetic noise produced by traction of EVs and noise
distribution network, the harmonic model of an EV battery coupling channels are determined. The models are validated
charger and other nonlinear load models were developed. The through laboratory tests. It is concluded that the main cause of
method was proven through some case studies, demonstrating noise in EVs is the high frequency switching of power
the effect of harmonics produced by EVs, and the increasing of electronic devices in the electrical traction system.
the neutral voltage caused by the connection of EVs. D. Solutions and standards
B. Voltage imbalance By now, some solutions to the problems that cause the
The condition of imbalance occurs in a three-phase system connection of EVs on power quality have been proposed, such
when voltages differ in magnitude and/or do not have 120 as [25], where a method to mitigate harmonics in a smart grid
degrees of phase difference [14]. The number of EVs in context was proposed, and optimal dispatch of tap changers
residential distribution networks is expected to increase in the considering shunt capacitor installing was carried out.
coming years, however, the level of penetration and connection Additional achievements are presented in [26], where the
points are uncertain. EV chargers are single-phase loads in design of an EV battery charger with power quality
residential networks; therefore they could cause voltage compensation is described. This charger is designed based on
imbalance in the three-phase system. This impact is studied in static converters (IGBTs) and controlled with Pulse-width
papers such as [19], where Shahnia et al., present a sensitivity Modulation (PWM), allowing compensation of reactive power
analysis of voltage imbalance and a stochastic evaluation to and active unbalanced currents.
determine the location and levels of charging and discharging The integration of EVs and its charging infrastructure
of EV batteries, this study found that voltage imbalance levels require considering operational and safety aspects to ensure
are higher at the end of the distribution feeder. quality of services related to EVs and other customers [27].
Another contribution to the study of voltage imbalance is Hence, it is essential to establish a regulatory framework to
[20], where Meyer et al., describe the EV battery charging bring the guidelines to implement these new technologies, so
behavior of five different chargers and present actual that the power quality parameters remain within limits. In [28],
measurements of voltage imbalance in a distribution network. adaptation of emerging concepts of microgrids and EVs to
Moreover, a statistical analysis of the impact on voltage power quality standards is investigated, where it is concluded
imbalance is also included. that regulations related to EVs should be considered from the
In [21], García and Jiménez propose an algorithm to carry EMC viewpoint, since EVs are both receptors and source of
out power flow calculations, taking into account the connection disturbances. High penetration of EVs scenarios require special
of EVs in distribution networks. A model that simulates consideration to establish the regulatory framework, because
charging and discharging of EVs was developed. The the current power quality limits for power distribution
networks will probably be violated.
V. “ELECTRIC VEHICLE” AND TARIFF to owners of EVs to change their vehicles charging for off-peak
With the imminent massive penetration of EVs to the hours; 2) adopting an approach of active load management,
network, some aspects should be studied carefully, such as the where battery power is distributed throughout peak hours. The
economic impact model development and methodologies for policy of double tariffs proved to be more effective, improving
pricing implementation, considering the technological potential the ability to integrate the network up to 14%. However, this
of smart grids. In the literature reviewed for this article, the result was obtained by using the policy framework of double
highlighted thematic areas are: load profile smoothing and current rate of Portugal. As a conclusion of [31], it is likely that
energy resource optimization. The massive connection of EVs the policy framework of double current rate can be improved if
to the power system is primarily a load increase; this increase a double dynamic tariff is created and dedicated to EVs. This
may contribute to reach the peak of power demand if the methodology is also able to monitor the operating conditions of
control load techniques are not considered. Summarizing, the network at any time, allowing more efficient use of
technical and economic impacts in the network depend on the available resources.
adopted strategies for charging or discharging EV batteries. Given the scenario of massive penetration of EVs, the
In [29], the possibility of including residential customers in dispatch center requires demand management policies for these
programs of power demand response is studied. Such programs loads. The state of charge and the charging cost should be
may help to reduce the negative impacts of large scale EVs optimized, maintaining them at a safe limit to avoid
connection. Financial incentives to the EV owner are proposed overloading. Management of charging tariff requires data
based on existing rates of time of use (TOU) in the service acquired from a center, followed up by the processing step;
territory of Madison Gas & Electric. Discounts and additional however, when the problem scale is greater, the central focus
incentives were also used to encourage participation of owners may suffer individual node/link and scalability failures. For
of EVs. The parameter used to determine the effectiveness of avoiding this, an approach for cooperative distributed charging
the various discounts and incentives was the ratio of vehicle of EVs using local prices as control signal is presented in [33].
purchase premium to fuel cost savings over ten years of vehicle The charging stations work as local energy distributors, selling
life. At each considered case in this analysis, the initial savings power to the connected vehicle, while the price is coordinated
were more effective than savings due to time of energy use; the with their neighbors, in response to the offered price, the smart
latter was insufficient to convince the owners of EVs to vehicle charger adjusts the charging current to maximize user
sacrifice comfort for financial savings. utility. This process is repeated until the convergence to the
Because of the potential economic impacts of EVs, the global optimum is obtained. Thus, it is possible to remove the
consumers must take decisions based on a cost-benefit control/coordination center, and to avoid link/single node
analysis. In this context, [30] shows that with increasing load failures.
due to EV, the mean and standard deviation of Locational VI. CONCLUSIONS
Marginal Prices (LMP) would increase substantially and,
therefore, EV charging would be much more expensive than E-mobility in Latin America is a timely, vital topic to be
nowadays, considering a short-term horizon. Furthermore, the considered because of the several possibilities for sustainable
impact of charging EVs at home and charging with a battery development. However, in Latin America, research in this field
supplier is compared. The battery supplier is not only able to is quite limited when compared to the intensive work
charge batteries at a much lower price than the cost incurred by developed in industrialized countries. In effect, the e-mobility
charging at home, but also to stop increasing the mean of LMP research subject is a potent fertile field for exploration.
and to reduce the standard deviation of LMP, avoiding In particular, three main subjects related to the power
congestion effects of the electricity transmission. systems, which will be impacted by the massive penetration of
As expressed in [31], through an on-line energy EVs, have been reviewed in this paper, i.e., planning, power
management (EM), costs for using different energy sources can quality and tariffs. Regarding planning, the current trend of the
be minimized. This approach is applicable to a dynamic energy consulted references, in relation to the expansion, shows that
market. The EM system minimizes fuel equivalent of EVs major impacts will affect the distribution networks. However,
considering the condition of plug-in, and run an optimization some studies have also shown that impacts could even be
algorithm on-line, using knowledge of energy prices taken transferred to the transmission and generation levels, especially
from the network by EVs, and price of electrical energy stored when congestion of overhead lines occurs. Regarding power
in its battery. The greater the differences in prices of the quality, harmonics and voltage imbalance are the most studied
electricity grid in time intervals of a future horizon, the greater topics. Other aspects have been studied, such as voltage drops
the benefits that can be achieved. Hence, if it is seen that and increased losses. Most of these studies show that the
penetration of renewable energies increased, the value of the impact on power quality will be significant for future scenarios,
available energy is an attractive economic potential. only considering a high penetration of EVs, mainly affecting
The network constraints are a problem that must be faced in the distribution network. Finally, regarding tariffs, the trend
a massive penetration of EVs scenario. Constraints can limit topics are: load profile smoothing and energy resources
the increasing of EVs penetration, if additional measures are optimization. In fact, the load increase due to EVs may
not considered. In this context, two different approaches are contribute to reach the peak of power demand if control
implemented to address this problem in [31]: 1) a simple techniques are not considered. Summarizing, technical and
double-rate approach, where economic incentives are provided
economic impacts in the network depend on the adopted [17] J. Trovao, P. Pereirinha, L. Trovao, and H. Jorge, “Electric vehicles
strategies for charging or discharging EV batteries. chargers characterization: Load demand and harmonic distortion,”
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ACKNOWLEDGMENT Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 1-7, 2011.
[18] C. Jiang, R. Torquato, D. Salles, and W. Xu, “Method to assess the
This work was supported by the Agencia Nacional de power-quality impact of plug-in electric vehicles,” IEEE Trans.
Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT) and the Power Del., vol. PP, Oct. 2013.
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas [19] F. Shahnia, A. Ghosh, G. Ledwich, and F. Zare, “Voltage unbalance
(CONICET), República Argentina. sensitivity analysis of plug-in electric vehicles in distribution
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