Charged Electric Vehicles Magazine
Buses, especially school buses, represent a perfect use case for bidirectional charging. When the buses sit idle, they can earn money by providing demand response (DR) services for the local utility. This is one of the services that fleet charging specialist AMPLY Power provides, and as CEO Vic Shao told Charged in a recent interview, it can offer a revenue source that can offset part of the up-front cost of the vehicles.
“We tell the school district, whenever your drivers get back, just plug in the buses. They’re not going to energize right away, but when they’re needed the next morning, when you need to drive the routes, then these buses are going to be charged up, ready to go,” said Shao. “So, from the time that they plug in the buses—let’s say 4 or 5 pm—until the next morning when they need to operate, we do a few things. We sequentially charge them as needed, or during the time when energy cost is lowest, when the demand spike in the building is reduced. Whenever there’s a dip in the power requirements of the building, we use that to charge up the buses opportunistically, while still meeting obligations that our vehicles will be charged the next day.”
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