Keeping the Electric Vehicle Burden in Perspective

Posted by Patrick James

Critics of electric vehicles often point out that the cars will consume a lot of electricity, which will come at a high cost to consumers. But a recent post over at Treehugger helps put that cost into perspective:

There's no doubt that a large number of electric vehicles would use a lot of electricity. But the important question is: Would it be a manageable amount? There's mounting evidence (see here, here and here) that our grid would be able to deal with it without too much strain, and that the coming smart grid and the switch to carbon-free sources of power would make it an even better deal. Recent numbers by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) seem to confirm this, comparing the consumption of electric cars to air conditioners.
A year's worth of charging an EV will likely cost between $190 and $278, according to EPRI figures. That's just a little more the annual cost of running a refrigerator or an air conditioner. That's way less than I spend on gas each year.

Head to Treehugger for more information on how the existing grid can handle an increased electricity demand, and how the coming smart grid will handle it even better.