One of the reasons I like the tech of hybrid cars is that they don’t tax the power grid. You use gas to get them going, but they create extra energy (actually, save lost energy) by the proper use of technology when you brake.
For some reason, lots of people want a plug-in car, instead. I never got that. An electric car just means you need more electricity, which is something we don’t have an awful lot of. Nobody wants an electric power plant in their backyard. They’re not cheap. We’re just replacing one problem with another. Well, now we have a study that shows a sharp rise in hybrid electric cars could present a problem:
Plug-in hybrids are coming. General Motors, Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive and Toyota are all coming out with gas-electric cars that can be charged from a socket.The question now is can the grid handle it. The latest voice on the debate, Stan Hadley of the Cooling, Heating and Power Technologies Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, says it won’t be easy. Hadley examined 182 scenarios on how plug-ins might be used in different regions in the U.S. between 2020 and 2030. Hadley assumed a 25 percent penetration of plug-ins by 2020. In a worst case scenario, Hadley postulated that the U.S. would need 160 new power plants to handle the requirements of these cars. The worst case scenario, though, assumes that the millions of plug-in owners would want to charge their car at 5 p.m., the tail end of peak power demand.