Electric Cars Pushing California Grid Operators to Adapt

Arrival of electric cars will have impact on local grids, especially in neighborhoods where their might be concentrations of them.

Published: 01-Feb-2010

Plugging in an all-electric car today may blow the fuse box in your home or even black out the neighborhood -- and your utility has no way to anticipate or prevent it.

Utilities, car companies, “smart meter” startups and others are struggling to make sure that tomorrow is different.

As carmakers prepare to roll out a new generation of all-electric cars, the Bay Area’s electricity system is far from prepared. By one assessment, the local electrical grid can handle no more than a few thousand electric cars charging up at peak hours — and that assumes the cars are distributed evenly at about one per block.

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