Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Major car manufacturers are steadily hoping that millions of new vehicles and trucks will be wired into electrical sockets within the next decade, not filled up at petrol stations. That poses a question: is the national grid equipped to cope with this influx of new electric cars? Here are 3 things that are going to have to happen.

Create more places to tap in

Charging would need to be easily available and easy for electric cars to go global. As of now, most owners of electric cars plug in their cars at home as well as charge overnight, but this does include devices to be built that can cost close to $2,000. To help defray the bill, several states and electric utilities now offer discounts. And several organizations have attempted to change construction codes to ensure “charger ready” new houses, but homebuilders have held back. Yet, there are big obstacles ahead as well.

Creating More Juice

Analysts have predicted that if any American changed over to the electric passenger car, the United States might end up consuming about 25% more energy than it does currently. Utilities would need to build a number of additional power plants as well as improve their transmission networks to accommodate that. “There’s no doubt that companies can do this, but it isn’t going to be easy,” says Chris Nelder, who heads the Rocky Mountain Institute‘s vehicle-grid convergence unit. “It takes money and time.” His team learned in a recent report that many administrators of utilities and car fleets preparing to go electric have still yet to cope thoroughly with all the problems involved.

Charging Times Juggle

The biggest problem for many utilities would be coping not only with how much energy new cars consume but where they genuinely use it. For instance, have a closer look at California. Throughout the day, the state does have a surplus of solar electricity, so it ramps down at night as the sun goes down. It would place a huge burden on the grid if millions of Californians with electric vehicles arrived home in the evening and suddenly began charging at once, but this in a state which has recently suffered from blackouts. One remedy, experts claim, is for companies to get more imaginative in juggling, specifically, when electric cars charge their batteries, ensure that not all power up and exhaust electrical infrastructure simultaneously or involve the building of expensive new power plants. There are also several energy suppliers working in this direction.

By Adam