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Plugging into Electric Vehicles

By Phill Feltham

Most future planning discussions about electric vehicles begin with a prediction for significant impact by 2020. While these studies are important for future planning, utilities must consider the direct impact that EVs are currently having on society. Despite recent news about lower gas prices at the pump, over 300,000 EVs are currently on the road. The grid implications of charging these vehicles are crucial.

In 2015 alone, electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S will consume an annualized one terawatt-hour (TWh) of incremental energy. This consumption will double in less than three years, resulting in an ever more urgent need to consider the key challenge of how to provide a reasonable energy supply model that aligns the incremental revenue and the cost of vehicle electrification. The positive news, an electric vehicle is one of the most shapeable, shiftable loads that exist in the residential arena, a fact that makes a properly managed EV a great societal and grid benefit.

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