New grid investment needed for EVs

As automakers plan to put more electric vehicles on the road, a bigger EV charging infrastructure is taking shape. But that task ultimately will require some changes in how utility companies think about the electric grid.

The power grid is already struggling to meet U.S. energy needs, said Shuli Goodman, executive director of the San Francisco nonprofit technology consortium Linux Foundation Energy. “I think it’s just a harbinger of the problems we’re going to have in the future.”

Consumers will need to become flexible about when and how they charge their EVs, communities likely will need to make greater use of solar power during daylight hours and automakers will need to worker more closely with utilities on community planning, Goodman recommended.