Will Electric Cars Compromise the Power Grid?
As more appealing electric cars hit the market from luxury car manufacturers like Porsche, there is increasing concern that recharging all those new electric vehicles on the road might cause repercussions for utility companies' ability to predict power usage, especially during peak consumption hours. David Densley, head of sustainability for Scottish & Southern Energy expressed the growing concern that the power needed to run the influx of electric vehicles might have unintended consequences. "People could go and buy cars, plug them into their existing socket and the first thing we'll know is that the lights go out on the whole street," he told reporters.
Companies like Coulomb Technologies are developing public charging stations that can be monitored online by utility companies. A director at Coulomb, Joe DiNucci, explains, "They need to know what charging points are doing, and to have some control." There are even plans to make it possible to extract power from plugged-in vehicles to address unexpected demands on utilities. "It makes the grid smarter and increases its ability to suck up extra capacity."