There are a number of reasons why the take-up of electric vehicles has been slower than expected and one issue which seems to be mentioned time and time again, is whether electricity grids around the world could handle a future upsurge in electric car usage. As a consequence, the CEO of Texas Grid, Trip Doggett, has stepped forward to discuss the matter in more detail.
Electric car usage
As we suggested above, while the use of electric cars and the take-up of new vehicles has not been as dramatic as many had anticipated, there is a momentum which many believe will only get stronger. As a consequence, governments around the world will now need to look at national and local electricity grids to ensure that they can handle any upsurge in potential usage.
Texas Grid is the latest in a long line of electricity companies to step forward to allay the fears of consumers. The company has been frank and honest in its assessment of the challenges ahead, suggesting that there would be no issues on a national or local basis unless "all electric car users plugged in at the same time", something which the company believes is highly unlikely. This is one of the major problems seen by consumers around the world, as well as the fact that increased pressure on electricity grids will likely lead to increased investment which will lead to higher electricity costs.
In the short term there is little or no evidence of any potential problems, although longer term it may well be a very different scenario. However, yet again, electricity grid companies around the world believe that technology will expand and evolve around the electric car market and as such there are unlikely to be any long-term disruptions to power supplies.
It will be interesting to see the increase in electric car recharging supplies as we move forward because there is no doubt it will have an impact at some stage. Some companies have floated the idea that car owners will recharge their vehicles at "off-peak" times but in reality when your car needs charging, do you really have an option when to do it?
In the short, medium and longer term there will be a requirement for further investment by electricity companies, governments, and consumers around the world. There is a great need to bring together a recharging power supply service as well as managing the uptake of electric vehicles going forward. This is something which is well within the grasp of governments around the world, although they will need to start making headway and making plans sooner rather than later.
What will happen to the price of electricity?
While there is no doubt we have seen some movement in the electric vehicle market, with more people than ever before driving electric vehicles, the uptake has been slow but the momentum is building. It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact the ongoing use of electric vehicles has upon the price of electricity because as we have seen with the price of oil, although this is a diminishing resource, there is a direct relationship between supply and demand.
Electricity companies around the world are happy with the services currently available in relation to the expected upsurge in the use of electric vehicles going forward. Unless, in a highly unlikely scenario, all of the electric plug-in cars in your neighbourhood are recharged at the same time, there is unlikely to be any disruption to supply. There will no doubt need to be an increase in investment by electricity companies, consumers, and governments around the world to handle the expected surge in electric car ownership in the future, but this is a matter of course scenario.
There is also the issue of recharging points in the public domain, which is something that few governments around the world have managed to get a hold of so far. We are likely to see large supermarkets and other multinational companies coming together with the electric car industry to offer a network of recharging points which are beneficial to all parties involved. There will be some jockeying for position and there will be some heavy discussions, but the chances are we will see the creation of a recharging network based upon companies that are easily accessible within individual countries and indeed around the world.