Posting in Energy
Electric utilities need to think of electric cars as 'mobile appliances' to cope with impending global growth.
First, the good news: all-electric vehicles will be catching on fast, with several million on the road within a few years.
Now, the bad news: they'll draw a lot of juice from an already overloaded electrical grid.
A study from IDC Energy Insights predicts that plug-in electric vehicles will be hitting the market within the year, and 540,000 will be sold globally by 2012. There will be more than 2.7 million of the vehicles on roads across the globe within five years.
IDC predicts there will be 885,000 electric cars in North America and more than 780,000 in Europe by the year 2015. The report's authors warn, however, that the electric grid won't be ready for this surge. "Unfortunately, these vehicles will cause havoc on the distribution grid if they start appearing without any preparation by grid managers. The utilities that prepare today for this new reality will be the ones that will win in the long term."
Challenges utilities will face include "significant upgrades in distribution equipment, from the addition of separate metering apparatus to the installation of advanced transformers that can handle the increased load on a particular line. Utilities will also need to address the creation of novel rate structures that allow the utility to control how and when the vehicles are charged."
The utility industry "does not have the luxury of taking a wait-and-see approach to PEVs [plug-in electric vehicles]," warns report author Sam Jaffe. "It must begin to prepare for their arrival now."
He urges that utilities think of electric cars as "mobile appliances" that represent new opportunities. The catch is, utilities need to be able to shift the additional load these mobile appliances will add to nightime generation. Electric cars will "bring challenges such as the potential of transformer overload due to PEV clustering and excessive energy borrowing when cars roam outside of their utility region. It is best for utilities to prepare for these potential pitfalls today, instead of waiting for when the trickle of PEVs becomes a flood. We believe the utilities that prepare for this new reality will be the ones that win in the long term."
The electric car's potential draw on the grid was also recently explored by SmartPlanet colleague Deborah Gage. UCLA researchers, for example, estimate that if 25 percent of all vehicles were suddenly electrified, a lot of transformers would blow. "Some utilities have reported numbers which indicate that even a single 220V EV charger may during peak consumption hours overload its transformer."
Oct 6, 2010
Electric cars are long over due. The oil barons have been suppressing this technology from us for far too long. Even if your grid is powered by coal the environmental impact of an electric car is far less than an antiquated gasoline powered vehicle. Battery tech is making huge strides now, soon electric vehicles will have 2,3 or 4 times the range and charge much faster as well. As far as a huge added load on the power grid, I'm sure there will be some but I think this article over plays it. Most charging will be done over night during off-peak hours. It's clear there is a lot of misinformation about anything that's not a gas burning machine. I could see many municipalities levying a tax on electric car charging to offset the lost revenues of the taxes we pay on gas vehicles. That part worries me but what are you going to do?
The problem will be solved the same way the Chilean miners were rescued. Good engineering and human ingenuity and teamwork. One way would be a solar panel system that stores power during the day and charges the car at night. There are many possible solutions.120 years ago we did not have cars, computers or airplanes.
There are a real data available from one of the electric cars. One charge needs twice as much electricity as an average household in 24 hours. Having one electric car per family would at least triple power usage. It is impossible at this time and will not be for many years to come. If we start building nuclear power stations (I ma not saying that we should do it) like crazy right now then in 30 years when they are finished and operating we could (not for sure) produce enough electricity for electric cars. Electric cars are the only reason for powerful people to steal money from taxpayers for producing them and more for selling those cars. What electric car GM made so far? Worse car than ever but expensive one like a good luxury car. Please don't forget that batteries will be finished in about 6 years but according to published data replacement costs $12,000-$15,000 USD. To be fair to the tax payers all electric car manufacturers should pay "carbon tax" and then all buyers shloud pay it too. Let's not get brainwash by advertisements about electric cars going from the West Coast to the East Coast. Driving on one charge about 100-150 miles and charging over night require special charging installations. Using regular 120V outlets or dryer outlets takes 72 hours for charging. At this point in time and technoligy available electric cars are impossible to be more than a rare toy in very rich hands.
A single 220V connection creating an overload?? What crap! That means you can't add an additional water heater or stove or baseboard heater without blowing the power system apart. Ever see a new house with no electrical service?
@jamesskears.engtech No need to charge your e-car at home and do 120miles or so at once. As soon as the energy-shift in transportation becomes significant, there will be charge stations so that you can recharge at the road while you enjoy your coffee -in minutes. The future is on batteries not on hydrogen. The whole battery industry is now working hard both to produce current orders (hundreds of thousands of batteries for e-cars) and research for the most efficient battery technology. The only factor which will slow down that energy shift, is the grid capacity. E-vehicles will grow as fast as the grid grows (and the charge stations).
Dunno about the actual numbers, although compared to the respective sizes of the (driving?) populations of those nations listed, it does sound fairly realistic. The fact remains that a massive proportion of a nation's annual energy budget is consumed by both the transportation sector and by the domestic sector. Here in the UK those figures are given as 35.5% and 27.5% respectively for 2008 (http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/statistics/publications/dukes/1_20100208131106_e_@@_dukes09.pdf), so something has to give, if anyone is sincere about changing to a more sustainable way of life. You guys & gals 'over the pond' must have similar government publications available to you detailing equivalent information on your energy usage..? I've done a bit of reading and it appears that mains electricity will, by necessity, continue to be generated by burning fossil fuels for many years to come, but that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is both technically feasible and practicable at power stations (but not at consumers' vehicles). I understand that it is already being practiced at, I think, the Sleipner field in the North Sea (http://www.co2storage.org.uk/). If there's enough of the essential materials (?) required for us all to have electric cars, then I reckon it's inevitable that personal transportation will develop in that direction. Hydrogen fuel sounds good until you do the maths and realise that cracking water to get H2 requires more energy to do, than you gain from the hydrogen released, i.e. it's an energy sink (it's still potentially very useful as an energy carrier, but more challenging than is commonly perceived by joe public). Anyway, in the UK at least, how many people routinely NEED to exploit the full theoretical range of their automobile..? My family are a two vehicle household and could live with the current limitations of an electric/hybrid/plug-in-hybrid type vehicle I reckon. I have a daily commute of around 30 miles. That's a 60m round trip - throw in a contractual on-call commitment and I must be capable of 120m on any given day. Give me a vehicle that can do say, 150m - 200m reliably on a charge and I'm in (if they could just be a little more affordable, ta...). On the few occasions that we travel further afield we've got the main family car. The current limitations (sorry, no pun intended) of electric vehicles to cover long distances and to offer 'real performance' is already being overcome by Jaguar cars here in the UK (http://www.jaguar.com/gb/en/#/experience/jaguar_magazine1/issue1_2010/limo_green). No, I'm not affiliated with Jaguar in any way, but I did attend a joint I.E.T. / I.Mech.E. presentation & discussion on the vehicle (http://www.theiet.org/ and http://www.imeche.org/home) and came away both impressed and optimistic that the future is still an open road!
@ tech_ed@... There is one solution: High efficiency, high power, eco-friendly, 100% recycled, cheap, one-time disposable batteries! Heh, heh! Alternative#1: Put a solar panel on your roof, or on your balcony, don't pay a dime for charging but use the car only for the weekends (so it will be fully charged)! At least, you'll be 100% green! Alternative#2: Buy an electric motorcycle for your every-day needs. Even if the grid gets expensive, it will still be cheap for a fast e-motorcycle. Plus it can be combined with Alternative#1. I agree and I also predict that the grid in almost all countries will be initially overloaded to the extreme. But after a decade or so, there will be a large green infrastructure build where even the walls of the buildings will produce electricity from the sun with a special paint. But there will be more green alternatives. In general, if the grid gets expensive, it will boost green decentralized solutions.
I would think, using mass transit to get to and from work. And maybe using an ev after work. would be nice. Utility companies need to invest in wind farms, to help handle the load, from charging these vehicles. I would also suggest, finding a way, to burn used auto tires for fuel, in electric plants.
?significant upgrades in distribution equipment," You know what this means? I'll translate it for you, "If you think you pay alot for electricity *NOW* just you wait while we start slamming you with increases ever 2 months!" Right now, most people pay between 8 and 30 cents per kilowatt hour for their electricity. I expect that to increase by a factor of 4. Then when the various governments discover that they are losing millions in tax revenue because 3 million drivers are using the roads but not paying gasoline taxes, *AND* on top of that, they are getting tax breaks due to alternative energy vehicles, expect that to be tacked onto the electricity use. I conservatively estimate that to charge your electric car, by 2015, the average homeowner will be paying between 80 cents to 3 dollars per kilowatt hour in fees and taxes...*NOW* how cheap is your electric car? This does not bode well folks! And don't start spouting off about solar blah-blah-this and wind blah-blah-that...yeah right...those are still a joke for individual users that will still be at least 5 years to break even, even at these inflated prices! No...I predict doom and gloom if this prediction of ev cars takes off...be prepared folks...you think it's bad now making ends meet!
Coal is not the only source of electricity. It is only about 50%. Other sources are cleaner. Also generation of electricity at the power plant even with coal is cleaner than the Internal combustion engine in your car. As for the batteries, a whole industry is growing to safely recycle them. ------------------- Robert Hahn 10/07/10 | Report as spam Save the Planet! Power your car with coal! How is it "good news" that several million coal-burning automobiles will be on the road in a few years? Where do people think electricity comes from, bottled lightning? And where do people think the lithium in all the lithium-ion batteries is coming from... or where it will end up? This whole electric car thing is like watching stupid people follow each other off a cliff because somebody told them there's a rainbow at the bottom.
With an aprox 100 mile range, cars like the leaf will still have are large potential customer base with 2 car families. Yes they wont be for everyone, thats why there are will be different options for people. As technology improves and infrastructure expands total EV's will be able to be the right choice for more and more people. ------------------ 3 jahcriado 10/07/10 | Report as spam RE: Prediction: three million electric vehicles by 2015 I only see this many elec cars if its in cities or towns where people do next to no commuting and have a 2nd car for interstate travel. I still see the elec car as a joke until it actually competes head to head with normal cars in payload, distance per tank/charge, safety and, above all, cost. Theres not just a premium on the car, theres also getting the charging station installed in your home. And what about city dwellers who live in apts or homes with no garage? To me its still on the drawing board.
I predict the economical crisis will last over 2015. People will keep their old cars as long as they cost less than replacing it. I would love to get the Chevy volt but at $33,000 plus tax it does not work for my budget. Even the lease at $350/mo is crazy; in comparison the Prius is currently at $219, for the price difference you can drive about $2300 miles per month on the Prius assuming you won't use any gas at all with the Volt. EV's are worst because they can only be used as a second car for strictly short trips and I doubt the cost of the car would offset using a hybrid instead for example. The math just don't work yet.
How is it "good news" that several million coal-burning automobiles will be on the road in a few years? Where do people think electricity comes from, bottled lightning? And where do people think the lithium in all the lithium-ion batteries is coming from... or where it will end up? This whole electric car thing is like watching stupid people follow each other off a cliff because somebody told them there's a rainbow at the bottom.
I only see this many elec cars if its in cities or towns where people do next to no commuting and have a 2nd car for interstate travel. I still see the elec car as a joke until it actually competes head to head with normal cars in payload, distance per tank/charge, safety and, above all, cost. Theres not just a premium on the car, theres also getting the charging station installed in your home. And what about city dwellers who live in apts or homes with no garage? To me its still on the drawing board.
The additional load on the grid will not be such a bad thing, since most eledctric cars will be using power, to charge up, during off peak hours. Taking generating units off the grid when demand is low and putting them back on to supply the power needed at peak times is costly for many reasons. All electric cars make no sense, however, until and unless the owners of these cars can recharge them, off the grid, with renewable energy. Solar panels in conjunction with wind energy, where practical, should be a seen as logical partners to combat our dependance on foreign oil and help mitigate the damage being done to our environment.
How about this bright idea? - Actually not that brilliant except for the politicians and industry leaders. #1 - Forbid HOA's and other local ordinances from interfering with home owners that want to install solar panels on their roofs. #2 - Establish the following incentives purchase and install tax incentive - already present @ 30% forced buyback from the local electric company at the same rate it currently charges the home owner - to include the rate differential from distribution and fuel charges. We need to be careful here folks since all electric companies have a very low KW/hr rate but we all know our bill is much higher due to the fuel, distribution and other charges. Actual city/county/state taxes could be left alone as long as these are distributed back and not kept by the power company. Simple plan - big results - will create jobs and stimulate the economy at the same time plus save the planet. If we can save the planet and save money at the same time why not?