What Effect Will EVs Have on the Power Grid?

Key Takeaways:

  • Planning must catch up as EVs continue sales growth
  • Different communities ramping up at different speeds to meet EV needs
  • General power grid considerations

Planning needs to be underway to prepare for the impact of electric vehicles (EVs) on the power grid. The real impact is forecasted to occur when about 15 percent of the vehicles on the road go electric which one study predicts will occur by 2035.

And while utilities have some time to pursue cost effective systems to protect the integrity of the national grid and continue to integrate more renewables; some neighborhoods, cities, and towns may push up the timetable for their areas because they are ahead of the EV adoption curve.

Power Grid Considerations:

  1. EVs will increase the amount of electricity needed to recharge vehicle batteries.
  2. Recharging will occur mostly at night when traditionally power demand is at its lowest. This should benefit the grid by leveling the power demand curve throughout the 24-hour cycle reducing the need for power generation cycle ups and downs.
  3. Solar power would not be available to provide power for EVs at night, but wind power generation is often strongest in the evening and could be relied upon to meet that demand.
  4. EV batteries can store power from renewable generation that can be discharged back to the grid to meet peak power demand. Utilities wouldn’t have to generate or purchase more expensive power or build more expensive peak power generation and EV owners/ratepayers would get paid for the power they discharged back to the grid.

What We’re Reading: “Electric cars could destroy the electric grid—or fix it forever” Wired: Written by Nick Stockton