Planning for an EV Future
How will electric vehicles affect the grid over the long term?
In our January issue, we answered a reader question: What will power new electric vehicles (EVs) in the years ahead? The answer addressed EV adoption in the near- and medium-term, but some readers were still left wondering how widespread adoption of EVs would affect the grid in the future.
“The number of electric vehicles on the road is forecasted to grow year-over-year, and electric cooperatives understand the impacts EVs can have on the system and the importance of having adequate resources to meet this growth,” said Evan Fitzgerald, Innovation and Business Development analyst with North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “That said, our resource planners — who analyze and plan for future energy needs — predict that already planned power resource additions will account for that EV growth, even over the long term.”
EVs are currently 80% more efficient in how they use energy than gasoline-powered, internal combustion cars. Coupling this with the fact that most cars charge at night, when there is surplus power available, means that the impact of increasing EV adoption on the power grid during peak demand times is expected to be negligible, even over the next 20 years.
“As demand for electricity continues to grow in the years ahead, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are making plans now to meet that growth with a diverse generation portfolio,” Fitzgerald said. “Electric co-ops are committed to doing so through continued investment in low- and zero-emissions resources.”
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