Study finds that smart charging strategies can help U.S. prepare for surge in electric vehicle usage

A new report estimated that even if people start snapping up electric cars, SUVs, vans and trucks at an aggressive rate — reaching 24 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2028 (which would make EVs 9% of total vehicles) — the West’s electrical system should be able to meet the demand for battery charging without adding power sources or upgrading electricity transmission.

At about 30 million EVs — 20 times the current number of battery-powered U.S. vehicles — the system starts maxing out.

But the electrical supplies could be stretched to power even more vehicles, perhaps twice that number, if drivers started adopting “smart charging” practices, said researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The key change would be recharging cars during the day to take advantage of extra power being generated from solar energy.