Wilkinson: A Question That Should Be Asked About EVs

Stephan Wilkinson
by Stephan Wilkinson
wilkinson a question that should be asked about evs

Having just watched New York City barely make it through a four-day heat wave, and being aware that Con Ed is only by the skin of its teeth able to keep up with air-conditioner/escalator/elevator/refrigerator demands during the summer–and sometimes can't–you have to wonder what will happen when first 5k, then 50k and then who knows how many plug-in hybrids add their loads to this precarious system. I have yet to read any power-industry statement, "No problem, we're ramping up powerplant construction by 80 percent in anticipation of this demand." Instead, all I hear is emergency-this and backup-that, plans to borrow power from Canada and whines that NIMBYs won't allow the construction of nuclear plants. Everybody seems to assume that the world will recharge its hybrids at night "when demand is low." Fact is, that's exactly when a lot of blackouts have occurred: 95-degree day, everybody gets home at six when it's still sweltering and turns on the a/c, the TV, the stereo, the lights… Blackout. How much more likely is that to happen when thousands of hybrids also get plugged in at six? And what about all the hybrid owners who deplete their batteries simply getting to work and then, simultaneously, plugging them in at nine in the morning?

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  • Wolven Wolven on Jun 11, 2008

    No one has mentioned the most obvious answer to this question... The electrical companies aren't saying or doing anything to prepare for the "huge" demand created by plugin EV's because, unlike all the EV [s]suckers[/s] believers, they KNOW THERE ISN'T GOING TO BE ANY BIG FLEET OF plugin EV's... ever.

  • Rtz Rtz on Jun 11, 2008

    Every time I've been in Hoover Dam, I've never seen all the turbines running at once. Bringing more capacity online isn't that big of a deal.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Jun 11, 2008

    David Holzman, I am not convinced about NIMBY's. Sure they hold up other projects, but they seem to be even more rabid about nukes. Also, the long time needed to build a nuke site, combined with the many times greater regulatory hurdles allows that much more opportunity for the NIMBY's to throw a wrench in it. We really need some sort of NIMBY tax in this country.

  • Lprocter1982 Lprocter1982 on Jun 12, 2008

    Out in Alberta, where it's one of the windiest places in Canada, there are huge wind farms. If I remember correctly, the largest makes enough power to supply a small city. That's good, but in the same amount of land, two or more nuclear power plants could be built, which would be enough power for the entire province. And in Ontario, likely one of the highest consuming provices in Canada (we need all the A/C to cool down the House of Commons from the politicians hot air,) we've got 5 nuclear power plants which makes about 50% of the provinces electricity, which, according to the Ontario MOE, makes at maximum 14,000 MW. By the way, Ontario is currently beginning planning to build more nukes. So all you nor'easterners can breathe easy in 10 years when they come on line.