How Electric Cars Will Change The Way We Use Our Electricity Grid
Electricity usage from electric vehicles could rise 1,700 percent in the next nine years, according to a report recently produced by the Utilities Telecom Counsel, a Washington based trade group that represents electric, gas, and water utilities.
The report also outlines the challenges faced by the nation’s utility infrastructure in preparing for this demand. A separate study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, however, concludes that half of the nation’s gas vehicles could be replaced by electric vehicles with no additional power planets required. But there’s a catch. Electricity infrastructure has to be built for peak demand, meaning enough juice must be available at precisely the time it is needed. As a result, for most other times there will be a tremendous amount of excess capacity in the system.
Imagine it’s summertime in Dallas around 6:00 pm, and everyone is just now beginning to get home from their day at work. They pull into the garage and climb out of the car, then pause to plug their electric car in so that they will have enough power to get to work and back the next day, and then enter their home where they will turn on the lights, TV and the air conditioner. Now multiply this by hundreds of thousands
As an example of peak times, imagine it is summertime in Houston around 6pm, and everyone is just now beginning to get home from their day at work. You have over three million people walking into their homes, and immediately turning on lights and TVs, cranking up the air conditioner and turning on the oven. If a significant number of people also begin plugging in their electric vehicles at that time there could be a problem. But just a few hours later around midnight, temperatures drop, televisions and lights get turned off and most people are asleep.Continued on the next page