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The Big Electric Car Charging Problem Experts Say Is Getting Worse
By DANIEL FEININGER
Electric cars are the way of the future and are good for the environment, but a surge in electric vehicles taking to the roads means a drastic uptick in charging demands and overall electricity use. Handling this additional charging burden will facilitate a relatively seamless transition from combustion engines to electric-powered vehicles as the standard mode of transportation.
However, this transition is not without issues. According to the Pew Research Center, 65% of households younger than 35 currently rent, and if charging equipment isn’t available at rental properties, they can’t be part of the EV marketplace. Additional legislation may entice landlords to include charging equipment in rental homes and apartments.
Charging an electric car quickly will be essential to keep traffic flowing and avoid discouraging potential EV owners. It usually takes less than five minutes to fill your tank with gas, but according to Pod Point, you must spend roughly 35 minutes with a rapid charger to add a range of about 100 miles to an EV.
Stanford University grid usage research suggests that daytime charging must become the standard. Currently, EV drivers install equipment at home and plug in their vehicles at night to prepare for daily commutes, but Stanford notes that once EV ownership arrives at mass adoption, nighttime charging alone could increase peak electricity usage by as much as 25%.
Charging that number of EVs at night could put a demand on the grid that clean energy sources can’t meet, and surging night charging might force gas power stations back online. This nightly spike in demand will place additional stress on the grid itself, potentially leading to substantial power outages and infrastructure failures akin to the one that froze Texas in 2021 (via Science Direct).