Will electric vehicles tax the power grid?
The adoption of plug-in vehicles, both gasoline-electric hybrids as well as full battery electric vehicles, continues to gain pace. At the end of August this year, 59,000 such vehicles had been sold in the USA, surpassing sales of plug-in vehicles for the whole of 2012. This trend will likely continue as manufacturers increasingly roll out new product offerings.
Next year, VW will launch an electric version of the Golf, Mercedes will offer U.S. buyers an electric version of their European B-Class, while BMW will launch the i3, the first of their electric-drive "i" sub-branded vehicles.
Legitimately, the increasing sales volume of electric vehicles has raised concerns regarding the ability of the nation’s utilities to manage the additional load they will bring to bear on the grid. But the Texas-based, Pecan Street Research Institute has been studying the impact of EVs in the most electric vehicle-dense residential area in the country, and has discovered some comforting findings which suggest EVs won't crash the grid after all.
The institute's trial was conducted in an Austin, Texas neighborhood which has a concentration in excess of 50 electric vehicles in a half square mile, and analyzed over 2,500 vehicle charging events between June 1st and August 31st this year; a notable period since it coincides with hot summer months when peak electricity demand results from households running their air conditioners.
EV charging photo via Shutterstock.
Read more at ENN Affiliate, TriplePundit.