energy future

Nov 19, 2014 | Energy Future | 4 comments

Revving up the electric vehicle market

We were among the utilities that received a shout out at the White House on Nov. 18 for helping advance the electric vehicle market.

With U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, who cited the industry’s progress and commitment to electric transportation, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) announced that 73 utilities have committed to spend at least 5 percent of their annual fleet acquisition budgets on plug-in electric vehicles.

For our part toward achieving that goal, next year we plan to purchase 15 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. We’ve been using three Chevy Volts since the summer of 2011 as part of an industry study to determine the effect of electric cars on the grid.

In September, we were awarded a $116,100 state grant toward the purchase of the Volts, which will be used for field visits and travel between work locations. They will replace 15 older gas-powered cars in our fleet.

The national recognition that the we and our industry peers received is appreciated as we continue our support for the growth of plug-in electric vehicles. We’re using them as part of our business and at the same time showing the public that electric cars are a viable and environmentally conscious means of transportation.

We were one of about 25 utilities in the research project led by the Electric Power Research Institute and General Motors that studied the effect of electric vehicles on the grid.

That study helped us determine that our infrastructure and delivery system can handle the commercial growth of these vehicles.

4 Comments

  1. Mel michalewich

    Have you installed a supercharger for Tesla? If you have could you tell me where? If not could you tell me why? Thank you

    Reply
  2. Russ

    Was looking for a copy of this report – is it publicly available?

    Over on the EPRI web site, there is a report entitled “Total Cost of Ownership Model for Current Plug-in Electric Vehicles” but it doesn’t seem to discuss the issue of infrastructure capacity

    As a driver of an electric vehicle, I’m often asked about the ability of the grid to charge everyone’s car, and it would be useful to have supporting evidence that it can.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Michael O'Neill

      Based on total energy used by gasoline powered vehicles, the existing grid would have to increase in capacity. This would be for both the wires and generation facilities. It may be necessary in the future but for now the energy density of gasoline is so much greater than any present form of battery systems we have, it is highly unlikely that electric vehicles will replace gasoline powered vehicles. Another consideration for you to think about is this: if all the gasoline vehicles were replaced today with electric vehicles, would this decrease the total air pollution problem due to gasoline vehicles or just displace it to fossil fuel burning power plants?

      Reply
  3. Jim Cooksey

    I have an electric car and would like to charge in off peak hours. How do I identify power suppliers who offer that option?

    Reply

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