How Electric Vehicles Could Rescue the US Power Grid

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Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a great way to reduce demand on the US power grid. They can also provide backup power during outages, increase fuel economy, and reduce emissions. But there are still some concerns about EVs’ impact on the environment. These concerns are worth exploring further.

EVs can reduce demand on the US power grid

One way to reduce the demand on the US power grid is to switch to an electric vehicle. The batteries in electric vehicles can generate electricity, which can be sent back to the power grid during peak demand periods. Additionally, EVs can help local resilience in outage situations by supplying backup power when the grid is down. This power could be used to provide power for homes or shelters.

One study estimates that EVs can reduce demand on the US electricity grid by up to $125 billion by 2030. The current infrastructure bill has allocated $5 billion for upgrading and building transmission lines. New York state has already announced plans for two big new transmission lines to feed the New York metro area.

They can provide backup power during outages

When there’s a power outage in the US, EVs can help the grid by providing backup power. During a blackout, an EV can temporarily cut off a home from the power grid, and a large group of EVs can serve as a massive battery for the grid. However, most power grids aren’t configured to handle EV backup power, and the cars and grids don’t know how to communicate.

GM and Pacific Gas and Electric are working together on a pilot program to allow EVs to provide backup power during power outages and feed energy back into the power grid during times of high demand. This partnership represents a significant step toward transforming EVs into big batteries on wheels.

They can improve fuel economy

The United States’ power grid was built in the 1920s and has undergone many changes, but it needs an overhaul. President Biden’s administration is taking steps to make the system more efficient. He has proposed a goal of fully electrifying the federal fleet by 2035. He has also announced new measures to shore up the domestic supply of critical minerals. The next step is to set up the right infrastructure.

Electricity demand in the US fluctuates throughout the day. It peaks early in the evening. As electric vehicles start charging in the evening, they can overwhelm the power grid, forcing utilities to deliver more power than they can generate. Fortunately, some states have high power capacity and can ramp up production when demand is high.

They can reduce emissions

Electric vehicles can reduce emissions and help save the power grid in two ways. First, owners of these vehicles can save money on fueling costs without having to change their electricity plan. Some providers offer time-of-use plans that allow users to use lower-cost electricity at night. This can save hundreds of dollars a year in California alone. Second, the use of electric vehicles can help cut global warming emissions.

Third, states can provide subsidies and incentives for EVs to boost their uptake. These incentives can take many forms, including direct subsidies for the purchase of an EV, rebates to support charging infrastructure, or even the removal of registration fees. Some states have already tried such measures, with some success.

They can reduce costs

One study estimates that if everyone who uses an electric vehicle were to do so, the U.S. power grid would need $125 billion in additional investment to keep up with EV power demands by 2030. And this is only one of the challenges faced by the US power grid. However, one solution is already available to this problem: electric vehicles themselves are a potential solution to the problem, since they can generate power and add it to the grid.

To reduce costs associated with EV charging infrastructure, utilities could offer incentives that encourage drivers to charge their vehicles during off-peak times. Alternatively, utilities could set different rates during different hours, or days of the week. Such incentives would encourage drivers to charge their vehicles during off-times when electricity is plentiful and cheaper. Some cities, like Austin, Texas, are already trialing this approach, and other regions should follow suit if it makes sense for their local power grids.

Jenn Fontana

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