EVs Are Not A Problem For The Electric Grid, They Are The Solution

One of the stock arguments you will hear against the wide adoption of electric vehicles is about how the power supply grid is going to cope with all these high-voltage devices drawing current to recharge.

A home EV charging station will require somewhere between 2kW and 7kW when it is replenishing a car battery. If all EVs are plugged in at once, surely the grid will collapse and power stations will be overextended? Dogs and cats will live together, and mass hysteria will break out? But not only is this a complete misunderstanding of EV charging habits, it could be getting things completely the wrong way round. Here’s why.

First, let’s give the negative argument some thought. There were about 33 million passenger cars in the UK in 2019, according to the UK Department of Transport, and there were nearly 274 million registered cars in the USA in 2018, according to the Federal Highway Administration of the US Department of Transportation. If all of these are swapped for EVs with batteries with at least 50kWh, and you charge them all at once at 7kW, you could be asking the UK grid to supply 231GW of energy for at least seven hours, and the US grid 1.9TW. UK power stations supplied 86.9TWh in Q1 2020, which is an average of 39.8GW per hour. The USA had a capacity of 1.1TW at the end of 2019.

This is obviously never going to work. There’s not enough capacity on either grid. But of course, it never would have to. One of the big misconceptions about EVs is that you charge them every day like a phone. This also leads to gross miscalculations about how long the batteries will last, but let’s not get into that argument right now. A survey by Statista published in January 2020 stated that in 2017 UK motorists drove on average 4,500 miles per year for private use, and the trend since then has been down. That’s just 12 miles a day, and with lots of EVs now providing a 200-mile range on a single charge, on average you’ll be charging your EV twice a month. So, in reality, assuming an even distribution of charging, the UK grid could easily cope with everyone owning an EV and charging it twice a month on average. American drivers use their cars a lot more – 13,500 miles a year, according to the US Department of Transport. But that’s still only six charging cycles a month for an EV with a 200-mile range, which is well within current capacity.

Read More: Forbes

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