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Electric Vehicles and the Grid

Sector & Sovereign Research

May 1, 2017

The Impact of EVs on Power Demand, Peak Load and Electric Energy Storage -- and the Impact of the Grid on EVs

Integrating the growing fleet of electric cars, trucks and buses will present important commercial opportunities and critical technical challenges for the electric utility industry. We estimate that a fully electrified vehicle fleet would increase U.S. power consumption by a third, accelerating the growth of utilities’ volume sales and, in states without decoupling, utility revenues as well. The grid upgrades required to accommodate the charging requirements of this fleet could add to rate base growth in the longer term. As yet uncharted is how the grid will supply electric vehicles’ potentially huge charging demand, and capitalize on their equally large capacity for storage. Utility regulators will play a central role in shaping the industry’s response, and in so doing may set parameters for the integration of electric vehicles on the grid that will affect the scale of the fleet, how owners use their vehicles and the design of the vehicles themselves.

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