Better Ways to Electrify Connected Electric & Hybrid Cars Coming from UC Riverside, Soon

ucrUniversity of California, Riverside (UCR) is launching its Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative to research renewable energy for batteries and electric/hybrid electric vehicles. UCR calls it the largest renewable energy project of its kind in California.

The University will celebrate Wednesday May 21 with a ceremony with viewing of an electric trolley, electric cars and an autonomous vehicle. There will be lab tours and demonstrations of solar energy, batteries and energy efficiency technologies. Student projects will showcased.

The University will be generating a lot of powering and storing it in HUGE batteries. The testbed includes:

  • Four megawatts of solar photovoltaic panels.
  • Two megawatt-hours of battery energy storage, to be used when not enough solar power is produced.
  • Twenty-seven electric vehicle charging stations. .
  • A trolley that has been converted from a diesel combustion busto battery electric operation.
  • Energy monitoring, management and control tools developed by UC Riverside engineering students.

The goal is for California to stop being dependent on fossil fuel to move toward generating electricity powering cars with the sun. However, utilities will need offer charging stations and smart integration of renewable energy and management.
UCR plans to show that electric cars can be integrated into renewable energy and the “grid” without increasing the load on the electrical grid. They also evaluate battery storage system. The last thing California needs during a heat wave is for the power to go out due to too many vehicles charging.

UCR will also determine the efficiency and performance of electric and hybrid electric transportation operating in the Riverside community. The program is part of Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT).

The project is funded by South Coast Air Quality Management District and the University along with private funding from Bourns Inc., Balqon Corporation, SolarMax Technology and Winston Battery Limited. Public partners include the city of Riverside, Riverside Transit Agency, Riverside Public Utilities, UC Riverside, the Bourns College of Engineering, the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy and the Winston Chung Global Energy Center.