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Will the Chevy Volt affect the electric grid?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

AutoblogGreen sat down with Britta Gross from GM and Mark Duvall from Electric Power Research Institute to talk about just that. 


As ABG says...


AutoblogGreen readers might be anxiously counting down the days until their garage becomes a fueling center, but there are a lot of people who just don't get what plugging a car in might mean, and we could all use a bit more information, no?


One question that was raised is can the grid handle millions and millions of vehicles plugging in?  Gross mentions the benefits of plugging-in (higher well-to-wheel efficiency, etc etc) mass adoption possible? 


Well, to get the whole story, head over to ABG for the audio interview (it's 21 minutes, but definitely an interesting 21 minutes).


But in case you want to know what their conclusion was...well, it could.  But that's why it's important to understand what the short term issues and and what the long term issues are.  It's important to develop strategic partnerships between the electricity industry and the auto that plugging in (on a massive scale) actually works.  "The grid needs to do what the grid needs to do...they're going to have to modernize the grid," says Duvall.  In any case, there's a lot of work that needs to be done to prepare. 


Time will tell, I suppose.

post #2 of 6

There was also a NOVA program recently, hosted by Tom & Ray Magliozzi (think 'CarTalk') which addressed this question. The answer was yes... the grid can support 'tens of millions' of EVs, as long as they are plugged in at night.


In fact, it actually may be better for the grid, because it will result in more stable power demand, which will result in less need for 'peaking' power generators, which are inefficient.

post #3 of 6

And this is where it will really help to create a smart grid, so that cars will automatically recharge during off-peak hours and utilize this unused energy.


Also, Car Talk rules!

Edited by dana1981 - Thu, 18 Sep 2008 02:42:34 GMT
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yeah, in the interview they did stress consumer education.


So it's just a matter of getting those "tens of millions" of plug-in drivers to charge when they're asleep.

post #5 of 6

We can just use all that extra electricity we've been saving by switching from incandescent bulbs to CFLs, right? :)


Seriously though -- theoretically, switching to CFLs saves hundreds of watts per houshold.  Surely, if the grid can handle that sort of flux, it can handle a few Chevys. Granted, CFL adoption has been spread over a span of years...

post #6 of 6

Sure, CFLs are spreading over years, but given the production plans, electric cars (and electric cars with range extenders) will be spread out over years as well. It's not as if everyone in North America is going to buy an electric car in 2010.

Edited by donatello - Mon, 22 Sep 2008 17:22:37 GMT
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