Electric vehicles in every driveway is the future. But let’s be smart about it

Good bye dirty air. Goodbye $100 gas station visits. Goodbye international oil cartel. As we move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy, we not only move away from pollution, we move toward homegrown resources like sunshine and wind.

But while transitioning to electric cars is critical for California’s transportation, energy and environmental future, it won’t be without speed bumps. Today’s electric grid, with its heavy reliance on large power plants located hundreds of miles from where electricity is consumed, can’t handle all those electric cars yet. To charge those cars, we would need to build more power plants, as well as more and bigger transmission lines, distribution lines and substations. The whole grid would have to be supersized.

Consider this: An electric car increases average household electricity consumption by 70 percent. If every driveway had an electric car, your neighborhood would need a lot more electricity which, in turn, would strain the grid. And DC super chargers down at the grocery store create another problem: sudden surges in demand.

The grid just wasn’t built for this. Like transporting more water requires a bigger pipe, transporting more electrons requires thicker wires. Transformers and substations that convert electricity from distant power plants to what can be used inside your home would also need to be upsized to accommodate increased flows. All those upgrades are expensive and would push up electric bills for everybody.

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Electric vehicles in every driveway is the future. But let’s be smart about it, by Bernadette Del Chiaro, The Sacramento Bee, June 19, 2019.

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