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Transportation: Charging electric vehicles disrupts power grids less than expected — Monday, October 28, 2013 —

As electric vehicle sales rev up, there are concerns that more battery-powered and plug-in hybrid cars might disrupt the nation’s power grids.

If a large number of electric vehicles (EVs) in close proximity plug in at peak times — like after work on a hot summer’s day — it could prompt a power surge and overwhelm the local transformer. But a new report by the Texas-based Pecan Street Research Institute finds there may be little to fear, at least in the near term.

A new study finds EV drivers don’t refuel as much as expected in periods of peak electric demand. Photo courtesy of the Pecan Street Research Institute.

In a study of vehicle charging in a neighborhood with one of the highest residential concentrations of electric cars in the country, researchers found that owners are charging their EVs much less during hot summer afternoons than most behavioral models predicted.



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