Brutal Winter Storm Proved America Isn't Ready For EVs

Government / Comments

The power grids need some major upgrades.

As automakers continue their introduction of all-electric vehicles, including new models like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Chevrolet Bolt EUV, and Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, a major flaw has just been exposed that requires immediate attention. The brutally cold winter weather that struck Texas last month causing state-wide power outages was proof the state's electrical grid is not only outdated but is incapable of handling the upcoming surge (pun intended) of EVs being hooked up to charging stations. The Lone Star state's capital of Austin, for example, saw its fleet of 12 all-electric buses become completely inoperative because of the outage.

Reuters dug a bit deeper and found out the city's transit agency budgeted $650 million over the past two decades for electric buses and a charging facility to accommodate 187 of them.

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From this point onward, whenever a new city bus is necessary, it's going to be purely battery-electric but city officials did not consider what would happen if a deep freeze knocked out the entire electric grid. Imagine that scenario affecting millions of private BEV owners. The more fully electric public and private vehicles on the road, the greater the charging infrastructure and electric-grid capacity is needed.

Due to climate change, more severe weather conditions are guaranteed, especially in regions not accustomed to them, like Texas. Across the country in California, rolling blackouts were a major problem last year during an extreme heatwave.

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That situation proved the current status of the Golden State's electric grid will not be able to handle the expected EV sales rise by 2035, the year when new combustion-engined vehicle sales will be outlawed. California officials are fully aware of the situation and have pledged to take action.

The electric grids for all other states are also outdated and not up to the task for a carbon-free vehicle future. A major effort at the federal, state, and local levels is now required to make the necessary preparations, but this requires time and money. The longer nothing is done, the worse things are going to be during future blackouts.

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Source Credits: Reuters

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