When the automobile market becomes flooded with electric vehicles, will our power grid be able to handle it? Recent predictions over in Europe show that demand could surpass capacity should owners not be charging their vehicles during off-peak times. Do utility companies have the ability to adapt for the future of EVs?
Adam Vaughan of The Guardian approaches the subject by noting that electric vehicles could reach nine million units by 2030. That’s 100 times the amount of EVs currently traveling around in the United Kingdom. It could spell disaster for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant that’s currently under construction should consumers not charge their vehicles “smartly.”
How do you charge an EV “smartly?” By plugging it in at times when the power grid isn’t being bogged down by other users. This can vary by location, but a variety of daytime hours during the weekdays are usually in the peak timeframe. Most of the time, nights, weekends, and holidays are all considered off-peak. Estimations by National Grid show that up to eight gigawatts could be used during high demand periods by 2030.