How didn't Elon Musk get the memo?
Every time an auto show rolls around, car manufacturers show off flashy quasi-SUV concepts boasting electric powertrains with impressive ranges and ludicrously speedy charging times. However, while automakers constantly tease electric concepts and declare bold plans of electric power taking over their lineups, it is crucial to remember that we are still in the relatively early stages of the electric car resurgence.
At the moment, electric vehicles make up a very small fraction of vehicle sales in the United States, and if a recent study proves accurate, we have a lot of preparation to do before the electric revolution can go into full effect.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) conducted a study on how increasing demand for electric vehicles in the US over the span of the next ten years will effect the electric utilities sector. BCG predicts a sizable rise in consumer interest in and demand for electric vehicles, estimating that 20 to 30 percent of all US new car sales by 2030 will be electric or hybrid vehicles. This would be a massive amount of growth from where we currently stand, with plug-in hybrids and EVs making up only 2% of all US car sales last year.
BCG also believes that up to 12% of all vehicles on the road in the US in 2030 will be plug-in hybrid and electric, and that this would end up stretching "the capacity of the current grid." This would be particularly true in areas where more EVs might be found, such as urban settings, and at certain times of the day when more cars are charging, like the middle of the work day.
BCG concluded the study by suggesting an expansion of the grid and for utility providers to add subscription services with a flat EV charging rate and which gives customers a free home charger that automatically charges their car overnight or during off-peak times. While it will take time before electric cars begin to strain the grid, it's better to start preparing sooner rather than later for what seems inevitable as government regulation pushes the proliferation of electric propulsion.