Electric cars disrupt grid less than expected

(Photo by David Dodge/Green Energy Futures via Creative Commons)One of the myths spread about electric vehicles by the Doom and Gloom crowd was that as sales rev up, all that home charging might disrupt the nation’s power grids.

But a new report by the Texas-based Pecan Street Research Institute finds there may be little to fear, at least in the near term. Midwest Energy News reported on the study a few days ago.

They looked at a neighborhood in Austin, Texas, with one of the highest residential concentrations of electric cars in the country, analyzed charging behavior at 30 homes between June 1 and Aug. 21, when electric grids are often already stressed by air conditioning loads. The researchers found that owners are charging their EVs much less during hot summer afternoons than most behavioral models predicted.

“EV drivers are distributing when they charge much more than was assumed in models,” said Brewster McCracken, CEO of Pecan Street. “This could have a pretty dramatic impact on what the projections are for how many EVs a utility could manage in a particular area.”

(Photo by David Dodge/Green Energy Futures via Creative Commons)