High Demand of Plug-in, Electric Vehicles Could Draw Too Much Power

Could electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids tax our existing power grid to the point of failure? According to Peter Darbee, CEO of the Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation, the answer is yes. As few as 3 EVs in a single neighborhood could “overwhelm the circuits.”

According to Darbee, a single vehicle drawing power from a 220-volt outlet is akin to adding another house to the grid. Darbee also expects EV owners to plug in at similar times, especially if they’re returning home during typical rush hours.

“You would create a peak load on top of the peak load,” he said. “What happens if three to five vehicles show up in one neighborhood? You’re going to overwhelm the circuits.”

To avoid that, utility companies and automakers need to work hand-in-hand to develop charging infrastructures, both in public areas and private households. One idea pitched is a “dynamic price scale,” which would possibly reward consumers with cheaper electricity if they plugged in later at night.

Source: The Detroit News

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