California needs to charge electric vehicles during day, not night, to save grid, study says
California needs to charge electric vehicles during daytime hours to save the state’s power grid from blackouts, according to a new report from an outside organization hired to study the issue.
Called Electric-Vehicle Charging in California, the report argues that California should charge electric cars during the daytime to try and offset daytime peak electricity demand, and allow those plugged into the grid to operate when off-peak power is available. California currently charges electric vehicles a $0.03/mile rebate during off-peak hours.
“The report’s conclusions should be taken seriously,” said Jonathan Weisgall, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an organization that promotes policies that improve California’s competitiveness. “Electric vehicles should have the ability to take the grid off-line.”
Electric vehicle charging could free up power for more power-saving grid management and grid-level storage, reducing demand during off-peak hours and saving the state’s electricity grid from blackouts, according to the report.
However, the report said the study was not complete and there are many details of the process it takes for charging electric vehicles on the grid that aren’t known publicly, such as how much power should be absorbed by charging the vehicle, or whether charging should be done at all, as opposed to allowing the vehicle to idle at home when off-peak power is available.
“We think its important that we hear from everyone who thinks this is a real opportunity,” Weisgall said. “Our goal is to figure out the costs and benefits of this, and then let’s do our best to get those costs and benefits into a report that’s accurate.”
The full report, which was published last week on the group’s website, can be read on the Silicon Valley Leadership Group website.
The report is not the first to argue that electric vehicles in California should be allowed to charge at night as well. In January, the Natural Resources Defense Council published a report arguing that electric vehicles should be allowed to charge at night to help the electricity grid during peak demand times.
The state of Washington, where the majority of electricity generation is from large coal-fired