California's march towards an EV future is facing a challenge, California's power grid can barely keep the state running during Summer peak months. California will need to teach people when to charge, and invest in huge infrastructure upgrades.
Globally, the number of electric vehicles is expected to swell from 7 million to 400 million by 2040. The transition to zero-emission cars is estimated to add 2,000 TWh to annual energy demand by 2050 — a 40% increase — according to a study by global advisory group ICF.
Rajagopal's team of researchers at Stanford developed a model framework to help utility companies around the world calculate charging patterns to better manage electricity demand. In California, it found that peak charging demand would more than double by 2030 if EV owners opted to charge in the evening at home.
"The use of an electric vehicle is like adding one or two air conditioners to your residence in terms of its energy increase," Mike Jacobs, Senior Energy Analyst at Union of Concerned Scientists, told Yahoo Finance. "So when the local utility engineer looks at this, he thinks of that air conditioning in the afternoon and the electric vehicle coming home at the same time."