California will. Ban on sale of internal combustion engine passenger cars By 2035, officials there said on Aug. 24. The policy, which comes on top of new incentives for EV buyers in the Inflationary Reduction Act, could dramatically reshape the entire U.S. vehicle fleet. California is the nation’s largest auto market, and more than a dozen states copy its emissions standards.
EVs make up less than 2% of the vehicles on the road in California today, and since drivers hold on to new cars for nearly a decade, it’s still few and far between to completely replace every gas car in the state. It will take decades. Still, that prospect poses a challenge for the electric grid, which will need a lot of juice to keep up with demand.
In a 2018 analysis, energy economists at the University of Texas found that if California drivers drove all-electric overnight, the state would need about 47 percent more electricity than it uses today. All states following California’s emissions standards also face large gaps.
The grid can support electric vehicles.
Still, there it is Little reason to worry Joshua Rhodes, one of UT’s economists, said the grid wouldn’t work. Electricity supply and demand operate in a strong feedback loop: as demand increases, it creates an incentive for utilities and power companies to invest in new generation and transmission infrastructure. Rhodes said the grid is used to drive demand from new sources, from population growth to the spread of air conditioning to data centers and cryptocurrencies.
“It’s actually a shot in the arm for the electricity industry in general,” he said. “EVs are no different than any other load. So it’s not as big a problem as some people make it out to be.
EVs can be easier to adjust than other electric gulpers, so they don’t need to be charged at times of high demand (for example, on a hot weekday afternoon). Grid operators can encourage drivers to charge overnight, and even use a garaged car as a kind of distributed grid battery, to soak up excess electricity from peak solar output. Can be enabled, for example, which streamlines grid operation and reduces power consumption. Risk of blackout.
The major hurdles could be the rollout of charging stations (though sooner or later they’ll be easier to find than gas stations) and the development of new bureaucratic systems to manage many of the newly distributed supply chains, Rhodes said. The flow of electrons between sources can be regulated. (Solar) and Demand (EV).