Power Companies

Power Companies

Are power companies ready for so many EVs all of a sudden? Will this lead to blackouts? Will this lead to solar companies revenues shooting up as well?
Disruption in adjacent markets as well.


yongliangzhu68 | April 6, 2016

Overall it is not that big of a demand. Also much of the demand happens off hours. This is actually a plus for power companies since a lot of capacity is wasted at night. This is why power companies offer lower rates after midnight. They NEED more demand.

jordanrichard | April 6, 2016

There is nothing for them to get ready for, except the extra revenue/profits. Most people are going to charge at night, when the demand on the grid is low already. Also let's say one is charging during the day. Well, if you were pumping gas into an ICE, that takes electricity too. Now I don't have the specs for how much juice is required to operate a gas pump, but I think you get my point.

cephellow | April 6, 2016

No, since most charging is done at night during off peak hours.
Utilities love this, since this uses underutilized capacity.

Red Sage ca us | April 6, 2016

Did you ever notice...? No one seems to wonder how all the NEMA 14-50 outlets were able to power the millions upon millions of Washers, Dryers, Stoves, Ovens, and other electric devices that existed in North America prior to the introduction of a relative handful of viable electric cars. But suddenly, now they are concerned about the viability of The GRID.

Earl and Nagin ... | April 6, 2016

Although, I agree that in the large sense, a transition of mechanized personal transportation from gasoline to electricity won't have a big affect on the grid, we can expect some minor issues in areas whose electric grid is insufficient to meet even today's demands.
potential example:
There are some utility companies that discovered that they didn't need to upgrade transformers to handle modern demands (A/C, electric appliance proliferation) since they found they could overload them during the day if they were underloaded all night so they could cool down. Continuous demand at night will prevent this and we'll likely see a few transformers explode. This really isn't a big problem though. All the utility needs to do is to get around to upgrading some transformers like they should have back in the 1950s but it will be a minor issue. The City of Los Angeles comes to mind as being particularly vulnerable here since their grid has been in a state of decay for a long time.

damonmath | April 6, 2016

According to my father who is a retired International Chemical Consultant for Epri and Duke energy (35 years), the most significant impact to the grid happened (past tense) with the introduction of the home AC unit.

yongliangzhu68 | April 6, 2016

@ damonmath: Yes, if almost everyone were to cut on their AC units at the same exact time the grid would brown out.

Red Sage ca us | April 8, 2016

I will admit it is rather disturbing to see how much of The GRID in California is powered by Natural Gas Turbine Generators. Only two coal plants left. Just one nuclear. There is a lot of solar generation, and a similar quantity of biomass. But ultimately, only 3,412 GWh of Renewable generation vs 9,376 GWh of Natural Gas leaves us vulnerable, even though Coal generation is only 36 GWh.

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