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Old 12-12-2010, 06:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
The $500 Electric Car
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Originally Posted by saand View Post
It is actually a possible big problem for electricity distribution. An electric car is a big drain on the electricity grid, it may only be 1500 watt but it is connected for many hours.
With the amount of EV's around at the moment its not much of an issue but if for example 100,000 people purchase an EV over the next year in america (i think that is close to the prius numbers) Then that is 150 MW.
Also everyone will connect their EVs when they get home from work which is typically at peak power time (When the highest amount of power is being used). That means that everything in the system has to be sized to supply whatever the current peak power rate is and the extra energy used for EV's.

Having said that, the electricity distributors should be taking this into account, that is what they get paid for. So as long as they do their job then there is no issue.
You might be right, but I have found no statistics to back that up. All the information I have looked through on the subject suggests that peak energy usage is from about noon to 5PM. And although it would make more sense to charge overnight when electricity is cheapest, you're probably right that most people would ignore that and charge as soon as they get home. In any case, grid impact is minimal:

EPRI | Abstracts > Abstracts

The most important line, IMO, is: "The project's first-order analysis proves that even in a very aggressive PEV market penetration scenario of hitting 30% market share and a combined installed base of 52M vehicles in 2030, the impact on the grid capacity is about 5-6% in the absolute worst case (all PEVs charging in summer on-peak periods at the same time)".

It sure would be nice if we had 52 million EV's on the road by 2030, but even then the impact would be minimal. This of course, does not take into account all the electricity that WON'T be needed to drill for oil, pump oil, refine oil, etc that would no longer be needed if so many EV's are on the road. Also, in this age of information, the Leaf will undoubtably charge ITSELF when it decides to: when it's cheapest, when demand is low, etc. And like you said, if it really did become a problem, it's the distibutor's job to fix it, and not the people's job to turn their backs on EV's for fear of knocking out power in the neighborhood.
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