As more cities pursue low-carbon strategies, our transportation sector will become increasingly electric – from passenger cars to buses and shuttles. That means utilities, researchers and policy-makers need a better understanding of how our grid will be impacted and what steps we should take to prepare for this shift. Through public-private partnerships, Pecan Street conducts research of residential EV adoption, vehicle-to-grid integration, and the electrification of public transit.


Spotlight – Sparking Austin’s Electric (Half) Mile

In 2012, Pecan Street’s research sparked the purchase of 80 electric vehicles within a half-square-mile area – that’s the highest concentration of consumer electric vehicles in the world. Since then, we have collected one-minute interval data on home EV charging and publish it through our Dataport website, where it is used by leading researchers from around the world. The data has led to insights on behavioral economics, the elasticity of EV charging profiles, grid system impacts from dense concentrations of private EV adoption, and aggregated charge management.


Other Pecan Street Transportation Initiatives

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) – With a 2018 grant from the Department of Energy and Austin Energy, Pecan Street is building a world-class vehicle-to-grid research center at its lab in Austin to identify opportunities for EVs to support overall grid reliability and resilience.

Electric Last Mile – In October 2017, Pecan Street Inc. was awarded $1 million from DOE’s Vehicle Technology Program to implement the Electric Last Mile (ELM) Project. We worked with Capital Metro and Electric Cab of North America to test all-electric, zero emissions, low-speed shuttle circulators in three Austin neighborhoods. We are also experimenting with autonomous vehicle technology to improve access to public transportation in residential and mixed-use neighborhoods. Download the Electric Last Mile app or visit lastmile.pecanstreet.org to hail a free ride! If you’ve taken an eShuttle ride, complete a short survey about your experience to be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card!

The eShuttle is currently operating in the Mueller neighborhood.

Mueller Hours
Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm

Sunday, 10am – 3pm

EVs as Grid Stabilizer – Pecan Street developed a model to demonstrate how EVs could provide grid stabilization to prevent solar energy curtailment. The platform identified “excess” solar generation for specific homes and allowed that energy to flow directly to neighbors that needed power. This reduced overall grid demand, while providing solar customers full credit under Austin Energy’s net-metering agreement.