How Utilities Can Prepare for Vehicle Electrification

As more electric cars and trucks hit U.S. roads, large charging stations could require as much power as a small town.

Read Time: 1 minute

November 15, 2022, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Electric big rig truck plugged into charging station

Scharfsinn / Electric truck

The debate over how the electric grid will handle a rising number of electric vehicles continues, as Tom Randall outlines the potential energy needs of an electric charging station for Bloomberg Green.

The problem isn’t the amount of electricity required, Randall notes. “The real challenge is how quickly high-speed chargers will need to deliver electricity at a single place and time.” According to Dave Mulaney of the RMI research institute, “Utilities need to be starting half a decade ahead of the trucks in order to not be bottlenecking the transition to electric trucks.”

Randall cites a study by utility company National Grid Plc. “Researchers found that by 2030, electrifying a typical highway gas station will require as much power as a professional sports stadium—and that’s mostly just for electrified passenger vehicles. As more electric trucks hit the road, the projected power needs for a big truck stop by 2035 will equal that of a small town.”

Brian Wilkie, director of transport electrification at National Grid, says that “Building connected electricity highways will be a competitive advantage for states that move the fastest, and every utility should be conducting similar studies to evaluate future demand.”

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