• Study Aims to Find Out How Electric Cars Will Affect Power Grid

      Electric vehicle driving in a curveOne of Arizona’s biggest utility companies aims to find out how the use of more electric vehicles will affect the state’s power grid.

      Salt River Project (SRP) partnered with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to study the impact of energy consumption from charging vehicles. The study makes SRP as one of the pioneer utilities in the US that want to assess the charging habits of electric car drivers.

      More Models

      Jamie Dunckley, an EPRI data scientist for electric transportation, said that the study would allow the state to plan on how to improve services to electric car drivers, as there would be more than 32 new models that will be available by 2019.

      Electric cars have been popular in Arizona since drivers no longer need to pay for gas. While this is the case, some car accessories and equipment are still necessary, which includes paint-protection films, such as a clear bra (provided by suppliers such as SmartFilm). In Mesa, AZ, and other regions, drivers of electric and convention cars are driving public demand for air filtration in cars.

      Energy Grid

      The study’s sampling size comprised 100 SRP customers that used cars with installed FleetCarma data loggers. The devices collected information on the time, duration, and place of charging electric vehicles.

      Kelly Barr, SRP chief sustainability, and compliance executive, said that the study also looked into the selection habits of customers when it comes to the utility’s pricing options.

      Based on the sample, SRP estimated that around 4,400 existing owners of electric cars consume over 9,100 megawatt-hours of energy per year. This already equated to the average consumption of around homes in the Valley region.

      The peak time of charging occurred around 5 PM, although time-of-use price plans provide them with an incentive to charge at a later time than normal.

      The use of more electric cars in Arizona could be a good thing, due to poor air quality in the state. However, it should not come at the expense of the state’s electric supply.