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CEIC-09-03

"The Economics of Using PHEV Battery Packs for Grid Storage"
Scott Peterson, Jay Whitacre, and Jay Apt

Abstract:
W
e examine the potential economic implications of using vehicle batteries to store grid electricity generated at off-peak hours for off-vehicle use during peak hours. Hourly electricity prices in three U.S. cities were used to arrive at daily profit values, while the economic losses associated with battery degradation were calculated based on data collected from A123 Systems LiFePO4/Graphite cells tested under combined driving and off-vehicle electricity utilization. For a 16 kWh vehicle battery pack, the maximum annual profit with perfect market information and no battery degradation cost ranged from ~$140 to $250 in the three cities. If the measured battery degradation is applied, however, the maximum annual profit (if battery pack replacement costs fall to $5,000 for a 16 kWh battery) decreases to ~$10-$120. It appears unlikely that these profits alone will provide sufficient incentive to the vehicle owner to use the battery pack for electricity storage and later off-vehicle use. We also estimate grid net social welfare benefits from avoiding the construction and use of peaking generators that may accrue to the owner, finding that these are similar in magnitude to the energy arbitrage profit.

 

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