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This paper develops mathematical model of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) combined with distribution system components model in an optimization framework, which can be used to study the impacts of PHEVs in distribution systems and also to optimally schedule numerous PHEVs connected to a distribution system for the benefits of distribution system operators (DSOs) and/or the PHEV owners. The developed mathematical model is based on the information exchange among individual PHEV and various entities, and on the communication and control capabilities which will eventually evolve in the Smart Grid. The developed model is first used to study the impacts of uncoordinated and coordinated charging of PHEVs in distribution system operations considering a 15-node distribution feeder with 10%, 25%, and 50% PHEV penetrations in residential loads. The results showed that the coordinated charging of PHEVs could be beneficial to the DSOs to reduce distribution losses, and to improve voltage profiles and load factor, while on the other hand, the uncoordinated charging leads to more losses and increased peak load despite yielding optimized energy costs for the PHEV owners.