UMass Clean Energy Extension, the School of Earth and Sustainability, and the UMass iCons Program are offering a two-semester, six-credit, learning opportunity, in which students will work in cooperative teams on an applied research topic mentored by UMass faculty.

Electric Cars at Charging StationLiving Lab: Putting Mobile Storage to Work for Campus and Commuters
Fall 2023 and Spring 2024
Meeting Times TBD based on student and faculty schedules

By 2035, there will likely be thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) in UMass Amherst parking lots. At first blush, this seems like an impending problem: how to charge all these vehicles? However, with a change in perspective, this could be a big opportunity for the electrification of UMass Amherst. To that end, we pose the following questions for study:

  • How can we envision and plan for EVs to be an asset to our campus energy transition?
  • What could this opportunity look like with large-scale vehicle-to-grid (V2G) connections to provide significant electricity storage and supply from EVs to campus, to mutually benefit the campus and vehicle owners? How would campus operators control vehicle discharge to optimize the value of campus electrification?
  • What are the policies and electric rate structures that would provide commuters with an incentive to charge at night and sell their energy/storage capacities to campus?

Anticipated impacts:

  • Answering these questions in 2023-2024 can pave the way for near-future infrastructure design and construction, allowing a win-win for the UMass energy transition and greater and faster EV adoption by the campus community.
  • This project may lead to a more resilient UMass grid after the electrification of campus energy infrastructure, as envisioned in the Carbon Zero plan.
  • This project at UMass Amherst would be a good case study for the broader application of the concept of "V2G economies" in other settings such as large businesses, office parks, commuter parking lots, and parking garages.
  • Commuters using EVs as a money-making asset can impact household wealth and EV affordability.
  • On a fundamental level, this project may force a rethink of the concepts of Scope II and Scope III emissions associated with purchased electricity and commuting, respectively.

Instructor consent is required. Prospective students should email with a resume/CV.

Questions? Email