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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The electric mobility company Revel is installing battery storage at a New York City charging hub in a partnership that represents a growing and evolving trend in the industry.

Driving the news: Revel is adding storage from the firm Electric Era to help power its large charging "superhub" in Brooklyn that offers public access and charging for Revel's ride-hailing vehicles.

Why it matters: Co-locating charging with storage improves the economics of the industry by helping to lower "demand charges" that commercial power users pay utilities based on their maximum use.

  • Looking ahead, as EVs grow from a niche to mainstream technology and millions of vehicles are on the roads, storage is one tool that can help prevent EVs from becoming a new strain on power grids.

By the numbers: Revel and Electric Era said the batteries "will reduce peak power at Revel’s Superhub by up to 500kW, the equivalent of powering 500 homes."

  • They also note that demand charges can account for a whopping 90% of charging sites' power costs, "making them uneconomic to run while EV adoption remains low."

What they're saying: Energy analyst Chris Nelder, in an email exchange, also cited the 90% figure, calling it a "total business killer" while the charging market is young.

  • "As the transportation sector electrifies, mobility companies must be able to afford charging operations and promote grid resiliency," said Electric Era CEO Quincy Lee in a statement.

The big picture: "We are seeing an increase in these types of deployments as there is a good business case to co-locate these resources," said Jason Burwen, interim CEO of the Energy Storage Association, an industry trade group.

  • Burwen cited the charging network EVgo's deployment of storage at 14 fast-charging stations. Others including Electrify America have added batteries to charging sites, and Burwen said announcements from more companies are expected soon.
  • "We expect most businesses in [direct current] fast charging will eventually deploy onsite energy storage to manage vehicle-grid integration and avert more expensive upgrades to local power infrastructure," he said.

The intrigue: Batteries, which obviously carry their own costs, are hardly a silver bullet for the charging industry.

  • Nelder and Burwen both said regulators and utilities should be reforming rate structures to lower costs for charging companies in order to help vehicle electrification grow.
  • "But getting regulators and utilities to think outside the box of the demand charges they’ve known and loved for decades is really hard," said Nelder, host of The Energy Transition Show podcast, in an email exchange.

Go deeper: The EV revolution will hit speed bumps

Go deeper

Why electric robotaxis might not save the planet

People will need to share electric robotaxis to avoid increased emissions, a study found. Photo: Cruise

Electric, self-driving taxis might not be the answer to our climate problems that many people think, a new study finds.

Why it matters: Transportation is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which is one reason that the Biden administration is pushing for a rapid shift to electrification.

  • But instead of reducing energy consumption and emissions that contribute to climate change, widespread deployment of electric robotaxis could exacerbate those problems, the joint Harvard-MIT study found.
11 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

12 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

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