Recently Electrify America announced completion of the first coast to coast direct current fast charge network that will allow electric vehicles (EV) to drive from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. Electrify America is also planning a second east-west network from San Diego to Jacksonville, Florida. As these fast charge stations link across the country, the primary consumer concern of range anxiety is being eliminated. Additionally, the new EVs can travel up to 200 miles on one charge. Today, it is estimated that there are currently 1.45 million EVs on the road in the United States and that EVs account for about two percent of total vehicle sales.
In a new report The Brattle Group estimates that by 2030 there will be up to 35 million EVs in the United States. This growth can increase energy sales by up to 85 TWh and add 20 GW of peak demand. Utilities have a unique opportunity to help shape this new added load. Not only will significant generation and T&D upgrades be required, but this is the perfect opportunity to build relationships with your customers. Most persons are familiar with purchasing gasoline fueled vehicles but are not aware of some of the decisions to be made when buying an EV. For instance, how is the vehicle charged while at the customers home? Should they buy a fast charger? Not only can utilities offer incentives for the purchase of EVs but are in a perfect position to help customers through the EV buying process.
Written by – Michael Stockard
Michael Stockard is an independent consultant at Stockard Energy Advising and is a member of the Advisory Panel at ANB Systems. Michael has over 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of demand-side management programs.