Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Home TECH Electric car charging: too many plugs at night could overload the network

Electric car charging: too many plugs at night could overload the network

As electric car ownership increases, we will need new infrastructure to avoid overwhelming power grids, including public charging stations and more charging during the day.


September 22, 2022

As the use of electric cars grows, we will need to make changes to the power grid to meet charging demand.

Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Growth in electric car ownership could strain power grids if most drivers continue to charge primarily at home overnight. Investing in daytime charging options will be crucial in helping the western US power grid handle demand with an estimated 50 percent of drivers using electric vehicles by 2035.

That finding comes from computer models that look at how the charging behaviors of drivers and available charging station infrastructure at home and in public places might affect peak net electricity demand: the highest electric power demand minus the energy provided by solar and wind power.

If drivers charge vehicles primarily at home overnight, that could lead to a 25% increase in peak net electricity demand when states reach 50% EV ownership, and possibly exceed grid capacity. at even higher levels of ownership. But expanding daytime charging opportunities could reduce that increase in peak net electricity demand to just 7.5 percent and help lower the costs of expanding grid capacity.

“One of the big results from our study is that simply making the change to the charging infrastructure that you build and where you encourage people to charge makes a big difference to the network outcome,” he says. Siobhan Powell at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, who led the research while at Stanford University in California.

Powell and his colleagues used computer models to analyze the behavioral charging patterns of 27,700 electric vehicle drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Such real-life data allowed computer models to predict how an expanded population of 48.6 million future electric vehicle owners might affect the western US power grid that serves 11 states, including California.

The findings also show how a shift to daytime charging patterns could help the Western US grid efficiently use its excess solar power, he says. rajagopal ram at Stanford University. Daytime charging can harness solar power when it is immediately available, rather than requiring grid operators to invest in more energy storage to store solar power during the day for overnight charging.

Computer modeling showed that having more drivers charging during the day could reduce grid energy storage requirements by between $700 million and $1.5 billion, compared to a business-as-usual scenario with many drivers charging at home. overnight.

Getting to the point where 50 percent of personal vehicles are electric by 2035 looks optimistic, says gil such at the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the study. He also noted that some of the anticipated increase in overnight charging demand could be mitigated by the fact that, with more people working from home, some electric cars can be charged at home during the day. But overall, he says the study’s findings are encouraging and suggest that future adoption of electric cars should be manageable.

“Their analysis shows that electricity demand from transport is a very flexible demand,” says Tal. “And many of the problems can be solved by changing the time of use and the day of use.”

While this investigation was ongoing, the US Congress passed an infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law in November 2021 that included $7.5 billion specifically for a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations.

“It wasn’t necessarily based on any kind of study showing the impact on the network, it was based on other considerations,” says Rajagopal. “But it turned out that things lined up perfectly for this.”

Magazine Reference: NatureEnergy, DOI: 10.1038/s41560-022-01105-7

Sign up for our free Fix the Planet newsletter to get a dose of climate optimism delivered straight to your inbox, every Thursday.

More on these topics:


NASA’s DART spacecraft crashes into an asteroid, on purpose

“This is the first time we have tried to move something in our solar system with the intention of preventing a natural disaster...

NASA crashed the DART spacecraft into an asteroid and filmed the accident

While most people sat down to dinner, NASA tried to move a space mountain. Out of sight for backyard stargazers, a vending machine-sized spacecraft...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Purge Halloween Costumes | Entertainment

It's time to start brainstorming some ideas for the perfect Halloween costume, and believe us when we say that nothing is scary like "The...

Becky G shares a vulnerable statement

Becky G has taken to social media for a "vulnerable moment" with fans. the schemes The artist has shared a lengthy statement asking...

Why did ‘The House of the Dragon’ change actors? The Time Skip and Cast Changes Explained

game of ThronesThe biggest twist of happened when the show killed off its main character near the end of the first season. Sean...

Samuel Goldwyn Head on India’s Oscar Selection Controversy, ‘RRR’ Snub

The president of US distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films, Peter Goldwyn, has weighed in on the backlash to India's selection of his competitor for this...