Will Electric Cars Crash The Grid?


Will Electric Cars Crash The Grid?

The folks at GM, now affectionately known as Government Motors, have made this astounding claim. Before you drive one off the lot, you should read the fine print. Chevrolet’s caveat is that this assumes “a Volt driver (will) plug into the electric grid once each day” to get “40 miles of electric-only, petroleum-free driving.”

That depends on where you live, according to Adam Victor, president of TransGas Energy, who has been fighting with the city of New York and its resident Nimbys to build an environmentally friendly natural gas cogeneration facility in Brooklyn to generate electricity these cars might plug into.

Writing in the New York Post, he notes that in much of the nation, particularly in flyover country, many utilities use heavy fuel oil to generate that electricity. So the more electric cars you plug into the grid, we may actually be increasing pollution and carbon emissions by using oil that’s not included in miles-per-gallon computations.

As Victor puts it, “If a few thousand well-meaning dupes plug a few thousand new Chevy Volts into electrical outlets (especially in urban centers), you could actually add millions of pounds of dangerous, dirty unregulated pollution and carbon into the air we breathe — possibly more pollution than would be offset by putting the Volts on the road.”


Was Algore consulted before all this? hmmm?
Just who is going to pay the carbon credits? hmmm?


Homework people. Do homework before publishing.

When does most of the driving in America occur? During the day. When would most of the charging occur? During the night when workers are home sleeping.

When is peak electrical demand? During the hot day when all air conditioners are running. What happens when the sun goes down on a peak day? AC runs a lot less and demand plummets.

The electric industry’s biggest challenge is finding ways to deal with the inefficiency of the wild swings in demand between day and night. Plug-in electric cars will smooth out demand and REDUCE the wasted energy that occurs when power plants are ramping up and ramping down the kilowatt hours. A coal, nuclear or oil powered power plant doesn’t turn on instantly!

Furthermore, the draft EPA mileage figures for plug-in cars DO factor in the electric cost into the equation. It just doesn’t seem like it because electric cars are SO much more efficient than gasoline ones.

Why can’t someone make a car with two sets of batteries? When one set is powering the car, the other is being charged by a small gas generator. I wonder what the gas mileage would be? :shrug:

Gas mileage may be a rather disingenuous figure for these cars, considering that the cost of electricity must also be factored in. When the cost of electricity goes up, it’s just like higher prices at the pump.

What a bunch of baloney. Fear seems to be the biggest selling ‘news’ product out there. Long before the first production Volt rolls off the line, parts of the smart grid will be put in place in vulnerable areas. General Motors was once part owner of Standard Oil. It’s all about profits and getting investors on board. Risk is a bad word investors don’t like. Oh sure, there’s always some risk but that number had better be very low. Look at oil prices. Someone looked at a gas pipeline the wrong way in Ubombistan and gas prices go up due to “investors’ fears over a possible supply disruption.”

MIT has already modified the current Lithium-Ion battery to charge in the 10-15 minute range, but, odds are, that battery will not appear for quite some time.

For some reason, keeping the public anxious and on edge is the current fad in totally unbalanced news coverage. Always do your own research. The news channels either don’t do it or avoid doing it. I guess ‘calm and reasonable’ doesn’t sell as opposed to vague, alarmist speculation.


lol! That’s right. For all of you 8-5 M-F people, you’ll be charging at night, while asleep.

Do your homework.

For any of you who do shift-work and sleep during those “peak” hours—DO LIKE MANUALMAN SAYS—do your homework.

Manualman, I know just what you mean. When we first married, my husband and I lived in New Jersey, where there are on-peak and off-peak hours for electricity. Boy, was it expensive on-peak! I stayed up late to do laundry after 8 or 9 pm (depending on daylight savings)—or got up and did it before 8 or 9.

Do your homework people! If you have on and off peak hours, or sleep during peak hours—

—these are not the cars for you.

Maybe I should have elaborated. Here, now I have. lol!

Yeah and we could buy the extra batteries at Wal- Mart!:smiley:

No! I know what’s going to break the grid it will be my Black & Decker electric lawn mower I bought at Wal-Mart!:eek:

Oh yeah… I’ve noticed that we’re more apt to have blackouts or have the lights blink during the day at the store where I work than in the evening. This happened just the other day; someone asked why and I remember one of the managers saying, “The lights blinked because everyone’s got their air conditioners running at home.”

If this technology takes off, I can see people charging even during the day. Restaurant owners, grocery stores, and shopping malls would definitely see dollar signs and eventually have designated parking spaces where their customers could charge up for a charge.

Sure, if you work eight hours, but it appears charging time can be shorter.


GM will be rolling out the Volt. The battery factory in Brownstown, MI is being set up now. And Ford unveiled its plug-in hybrid.

It’s here to stay. And I honestly doubt that the auto companies forgot to mention things to the power companies.


It’s still going to need eletricity from a power plant, which will now be running at or near peak usage 24 hours a day. In the summer, when people come home form work and plug in their car around 5 in the afternoon, that’s still the hottest part of the day. There’ll be power usage spikes.

Also, there’ll be people who defy the conventional wisdom of “plugging in at night”. They’ll plug the car in during work (after all, they’re at work for 8 hours, if there’s an outlet, they’ll use it). Or, workplaces might even provide parking lot outlets (and charge a fee to use it). Then there’s night-time workers who will be charging their cars during the day.

Most people also have two or three cars, and there’s still a good number of “stay-at-home” moms who will be charging the car during the day between errands.

Then there’s the sticker shock of the electric bill…

Not in MT as distances are too great, making electric only cars not feesible…:thumbsup:

Building more gas or fuel burning power plants to produce electricity in order to charge car’s batteries is the worst solution, due to the loss of yield on each step of the chain of the production, transportation of electric current and charging process in the batteries; The yield would be so disastrous that it would be better to keep the good old fuel/gas burning cars like they are today.
The only acceptable solution would be to build nuclear powered plants that are the one producing enough huge amounts of currents to balance the losses. In addition, these plants bring no CO2 in the atmosphere, on the contrary of the others.
In my opinion, France is the only one country where building a car charging network would be immediately feasible since this country has 75 pc of its current produced by nuclear plants. A good part of this current is produced in excess to be sold to France’s bordering countries.

Excellent points :thumbsup:

Yeah, I forgot about the north-central states. Very big and even villages are far and few in between. I took a look at Google Earth to see where the gas stations were up there. Not many…

lol! Texas too!

It’s not unusual to drive 100 miles one-way to work.
That’s just around the corner…in Texas.

Smart car. Not a real “manly-man” set of wheels, lol!

Below is a photo of a wreck in Jefferson Parish, LA (near New Orleans ) between two trucks and a Smart Car. Think I’ll pass on the Smart Car.

I’ll take my suburban any day!

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