Electric Cars Power Grid

March 15, 2012 by staff 

Electric Cars Power Grid, ELECTRIC cars plugged into suburban homes would create a risk of causing blackouts by increasing peak demand, the South Australian State Government predicts.

The State Government and advocates of the vehicles want owners encouraged to charge the batteries at off-peak times to cause less stress on the system.

South Australian Minister for Energy Tom Koutsantonis said the issue needed to be managed like any burden on the electricity grid, such as the uptake of airconditioners.

“Electric cars are a fantastic way to reduce carbon emissions but we need to make sure we manage the way people recharge them,” he said.

“We don’t want the entire state to plug their cars in at times of peak demand, we want to manage this so that they are plugged in when demand is low.”

The Federal Government is currently investigating how an influx of vehicles – predicted to be 20 per cent of all car sales by 2020 and 44 per cent by 2030 – will impact on the electricity grid.

In a written submission to an Australian Energy Market Commission inquiry, the state Department of Manufacturing has warned: “Increased load caused by the charging of electric vehicles could potentially exacerbate peak demand issues currently experienced in South Australia during summer months”.

Electric car enthusiast, Adelaide Lord Mayor Steven Yarwood has studied the issue as part of the Adelaide City Council’s use of a fully electric Mitsubishi i-Miev car. Mr Yarwood said the cars were similar to the introduction of the internet when people were uncertain how it would operate.

“There are two ways of looking at it and that is in the short term there will be a challenge for the grid and how Governments deal with that but in the long term there is an enormous capacity for the cars to be charged at night time (after people drive home) without any impact on the grid at all,” he said.

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