Plug-in electric vehicles obviously aren't very common right now but if they do become widespread the stability of the electrical grid could become a major issue. Although analysts expect most EVs to be plugged in at night when electrical demand is typically lower, it's inevitable that we will see daytime plug-ins as well, particularly for drivers who have longer commutes and access to a socket at work. The Michigan Public Service Commission that oversees and regulates utilities in the state is kicking off a pilot program to study the integration of plug-in vehicles with the grid.

The investigations will look at what is necessary to implement intelligent grid technology so that deployment of plug-ins will actually help stabilize rather the stress the grid. Working with electricity suppliers, the commission will study the environmental impact of electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid (VTG) technology and how it will affect power generators and the grid. Commission staff will produce annual reports beginning in June 2009.

[Source: Michigan Public Service Commission]

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