Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering



Electric Vehicles Will Save the World


Dr. James Fenton


University of Central Florida


Friday, May 5, 2017 at 11:00:00 AM


MARC Building, Room Auditorium


Seung Woo Lee


There are over 20 models of electric vehicles that are so efficient they cost the gasoline equivalent of $0.84 a gallon to operate using residential electricity of 12.5¢/kWh. Residential PV can now be installed on your roof at $2W through Solar Coops [4¢/kWh (with the ITC credit), 1/3 the price of residential electricity or at the gasoline equivalent of $0.27 a gallon, 1/9 the price of gasoline]. As prices for solar and EVs continue to decrease, and as range anxiety is eliminated through 200 mile range EVs, consumer adoption rates for both technologies will increase dramatically, resulting in an integration of solar energy, energy efficient buildings and electric transportation infrastructure. Will we get out in front and surf the wave created by the solar and EV tsunami or will we drown? New and Retrofitted Net-Zero Energy Homes with additional PV for EV use are more than cost effective today. Plug-in EVs through Vehicle 2 Grid (V2G) connections can meet frequency regulation and peak shaving requirements. Unfortunately, Load shifting and back-up power require 1000’s of plug-in EVs, while fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (FC-PHEVs) can participate in all grid services and meet energy needs with 10’s of FC-PHEVs and tanks. To meet new demands (EV charging) and address old issues (solar variability), hydrogen may be employed as an energy source (fuel cells) or energy sink (electrolysis). Both the production and consumption of hydrogen may occur at community levels to support EV charging as well as meet local energy demands.


James M. Fenton is the Director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), where he leads a staff of 100 in the research and development of energy technologies that enhance Florida's and the nation's economy and environment and educate the public, students and practitioners on the results of the research. FSEC leads national programs funded by the U.S. Departments’ of Energy and Transportation in: “Building America” energy efficient homes, Photovoltaic Manufacturing, Hot-Humid PV testing of large-scale PV to show bankability, Solar-Ready Vets and train-the-trainers education for solar installations, programs to decease the soft-costs of PV installation, Electric Vehicle Transportation (U.S. DOT’s only EV Transportation Center) and “Clean Cities” (alternative fuel transportation). He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1984 and his BS from UCLA in 1979. He is serving as Secretary of The Electrochemical Society, an Electrochemical Society Fellow and received the Research Award of the Electrochemical Society’s Energy Technology Division in May 2014 for his work on Automobile Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells. He is the author of over 200 publications.