Michigan Poised to Lead on Cybersecurity Technology for the Grid

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced more than $7 million in funding for Michigan-based cybersecurity company The Dream Team LLC to “develop a first-of-its-kind infrastructure that protects the electric grid from cyberattacks on electric vehicles” (EVs) and EV charging stations.

Once the project is complete, “testing of the electric roadways and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology” being developed by The Dream Team will take place at the American Center for Mobility (ACM)—the world-class automobile testing facility in Ypsilanti. These technologies will work with both existing EV charging stations as well as “new technologies like in-motion or dynamic wireless EV charging.”

The Fast Lane to a More Secure Grid

It makes sense that Michigan would be chosen as the site for developing new grid technologies to ensure cybersecurity for EVs and their charging stations. Over the past few years, the Big Three Automakers have been making critical investments to ramp up EV production, and both Consumers Energy and DTE Energy continue to invest in expanding and enhancing the EV charging infrastructure across the state. It’s all part of the effort to ensure Michigan remains a leader in clean energy.

The simple truth is, as more Michiganders and Americans adopt EVs, the risk of cybersecurity threats targeting this integrated technology will only grow. This four-year project is focused on developing “protections to the grid from potential cyberattacks that could spawn out of electric vehicles being plugged into the grid,” making it critical to both the strength of our electric grid as well as the safety and security of millions of Americans.

Investing in Electric Infrastructure Solutions for the 21st Century

The DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy contributed more than $4.7 million of the funding for the project through a grant, with the remainder coming from local energy provider DTE Energy, the University of Michigan Dearborn, Wayne State University, NextEnergy, and other groups.

These are the kinds of investments we should be making to make the grid smarter, stronger, and more resilient against cyberattacks, especially as we continue to increase use of EVs that interact with the grid in such unique ways.

Developing technologies to ensure greater cybersecurity for EVs and EV charging now will help make EV adoption as seamless and widespread as possible moving forward. This project will enable Michigan to lead on advancing clean energy technology like EVs that lower carbon emissions and cybersecurity solutions to protect our electric grid against the range of threats it faces in the 21st century.

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