Should regulators mandate smart charging for electric vehicles?

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: It was years ago that I first complained that our industry was ignoring the all-important smart charging challenge in favor of less crucial electric vehicle challenges. And now I've found at least one person that agrees with me -- graduate research fellow Maria Brun, a PhD student at the University of California, Davis studying energy policy. - By Jesse Berst

 

Electric vehicle (EV) sales are on the rise, thereby demanding more electricity from the grid. "What are the potential repercussions of this new demand?" asks Maria Brun in a post at Minnesota 20/20.

 

Estimates puts the additional energy consumed per EV household at 2,200 to 4,600 kWh annually. The top number represents a 43% increase. Even more important, however, is when that power is needed. Utilities must be able to meet electricity demand at peak times, such as when everyone is running their air conditioners on a hot summer afternoon. Or (perhaps in the future), when everybody plugs in their EVs when they come home at night.

 

This extra demand could challenge existing grid infrastructure. Potential effects include lowering transformer life or even impacting power quality.