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Electric Vehicles, Can We Power Them?
With the electric vehicle push happening sooner than later, many are wondering if the US power grid can keep up! Here are some things experts are saying!
If every American switched over to an electric passenger vehicle, analysts have estimated, the United States could end up using roughly 25 percent more electricity than it does today. To handle that, utilities will likely need to build a lot of new power plants and upgrade their transmission networks.
There’s good news, too. In 2018, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute looked at what a shift to electric vehicles would mean for the power grid in every state. While Americans would likely pay more for electricity as utilities made necessary upgrades, that would be offset by fuel savings from not having to buy gasoline anymore.
Timing may be key: For many utilities, the biggest challenge will be dealing with not just how much electricity new vehicles are using, but when they’re actually using it. With some states already dealing with blackouts, some places in California are working on the idea of timing when vehicle charging should happen.
With many large automotive manufacturers vowing to be all-electric within the next 20 years or less, this means the utility companies are working hard to find the best way to work for everyone. They are also looking at the idea of becoming even cleaner and ditching burning coal or natural gas to power the plants and moving to other sources such as wind, solar, or even nuclear power. Time will tell what route they take, but you can be sure to start seeing many more charging stations popping up all around!