The United States hit an electric vehicle milestone late last year. In October, we crossed the threshold of 1 million plug-in electric vehicles sold. Electric vehicle sales are forecasted to expand even faster as new models become available to consumers. You would think that this means only positive environmental and economic outcomes.
However, if electric vehicle adoption and subsequent charging isn’t managed well, the ability of the electric system to handle this new load may reduce the overall value of this transition from gas to electric vehicles. In addition to negatively impacting electric system reliability, unmanaged electric vehicle charging may impede the adoption of electric vehicles, increase electric system costs and increase carbon emission through the increased use of gas-fired peaking plants.
Some electric utilities are getting ahead of this issue by promoting programs to shift the timing of residential charging and promote workplace charging.
Two strategies are being employed for shifting this charging profile to more off-peak:
- Offering managed charging, which includes demand response and time-of-use rates, to shift home-charging times overnight
- Promotion of workplace charging to encourage more "middle-of-the-day" charging
With these changes, electric vehicles can be beneficial to the electric grid. To learn more, click here.