California needs to charge electric vehicles during day, not night, to save grid, study says
California’s first-in-the-nation requirement that all new cars be electric to charge during the day could shave as much as a decade off the state’s electric vehicle (EV) fleet by boosting demand to support a new grid, a new report says.
A key factor in California’s long-term goal to eliminate grid electricity from being generated and used during certain hours was a demand-driven decision to allow all cars to be charged during the day, not just during peak demand hours when power plants are generating, an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) report said Tuesday.
“The primary motivation for moving to an all-electric fleet is to reduce demand (and) curtail grid resources during peak demand hours,” said Michael Sather, the report’s lead author. “We saw some encouraging signs that this is a viable option, but needed to better quantify the impact in order to build a stronger case for moving to an all-electric fleet.”
The study analyzed how the California electric fleet would develop after the state eliminated the need to use electricity during peak demand hours with a shift to an all-electric fleet.
The data shows that the electric vehicle ownership in California is forecast to increase from 54,400 in 2025, to about 93,400 in 2030, with the total estimated annual EV sales peaking at about 13,200 in 2025, the EPRI report said.
With the switch to an all-electric fleet, the total demand for electricity that the existing grid could support would gradually increase by about 6 percent each year — equivalent to the demand for electricity, measured in megawatts, during the day that a new EV would be purchased by the state. The state would need to add about 0.13 percent of the state’s energy demand to support the electric fleet, compared to the existing grid.
EV sales would