Can the power grid really hold up to widespread EV use?
Widespread adoption of plug-in cars always raises questions about the reliability of the electrical grid and an incident earlier this week in San Francisco does nothing to quell those concerns. A power outage in the area caused a major data center that hosted sites such as Technorati, Facebook and Six Apart to go down for several hours.
Tech writer Om Malik has a post on his blog about the sorry state of infrastructure investment in the United States. Apparently electric utilities have reduced capital expenditures by fifty percent over the past fifteen years, all in the name of increasing profits. I went through the big North-East blackout of 2003 and I have little confidence that utilities have done anything to address the root causes of that event. Some analysts think plug-in vehicles and particularly vehicle to grid technology will actually help stabilize the grid by providing a buffer to absorb and release excess power. We definitely need to do more research to find out.
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