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Could Our Grid Handle 1 Million New Plug-in Cars?

If we start switching over to plug-in electric vehicles, that will represent a huge change in our use of electricity, and there are questions...


If we start switching over to plug-in electric vehicles, that will represent a huge change in our use of electricity, and there are questions about whether our grid could even handle it. A new study has looked into how 1 million plug-in cars would tax our grid.As Treehugger explains, it all depends on timing:
How much power this would require depends heavily on how charging is managed. If all the vehicles recharged their batteries at the same time, the study calculates a load of 3,785 megawatts (that's about 3-4 big power plants), but if the charging was staggered in time over a period of 8 hours, that would be reduced to 819 megawatts, and if you do the same over a period of 12 hours, you're left with only 546 extra megawatts. That's nothing! One medium-sized power plant could provide that, and if it's during the night, you won't even have to build a new power plant since there's more than enough extra capacity off peak.
The trick, then, is making sure that everyone doesn't charge their cars at the same time. And with a good smart grid there are ways we could stagger and time the charging, so there's another reason to do that.
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