2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

The onslaught of electric vehicles expected to hit the market over the next five years, such as the Chevrolet Volt (pictured above), is keeping many local power utilities up at night. The dilemma has to do with the power supply – more specifically, how to feed the increased demand on the grid down to the household level.

There isn't really a shortage of power, experts say. However, while your electric company has built the infrastructure to keep your microwave, HDTV and computer all running simultaneously without dimming the kitchen lights, an anticipated flood of innovative all-electric cars concurrently guzzling electrons off the system in private garages may lead to household circuit breakers tripping and street corner transformers burning out.

Not to worry, say the utilities. While it is a challenge that they must address, there is something working in their favor... cost. As is often the case with new technologies, the high selling price of the early all-electric cars (expected to hit $40,000 or more... or less) allows the power companies to anticipate which neighborhoods need upgrading first – now, that's electrifying insight.

Related Gallery2011 Chevrolet Volt

[Source: Detroit Free Press]