New Study Forecasts Impact of Electric Vehicles On Power Grid

Sure, the coming wave of electric cars is bound to take some strain off of our dependence on foreign oil. But how about our dependence on the power grid?  A new study by a group of U.S. and Canadian power grid operators entitled “Assessment of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Integration with ISO/RTO Systems,” examines the effect that plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) may have on the electric power grid in the near future.

The study concludes, among other things, that one million PEVs may be on U.S. roadways within a decade, with concentrations of the vehicles in the major metropolitan areas of the West Coast and the Northeast. In order to surmount the technical hurdles associated with charging that may plug-in electrics, it recommends staggered charging (i.e., designated charging times for different areas, presumably by zip code) as a way to reduce the potential negative impact on electric load, as well as new tools for power companies in managing PEV use.

Nissan_Leaf

image via Nissan

The group that commissioned the study, known as the ISO/RTO Council (IRC), is comprised of U.S. and Canadian power grid operators who manage most of the North American bulk electric grid.  The full text of the report is available here: Assessment of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Integration with ISO/RTO Systems

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.