"We're not the problem." That's the main message from a Southern California Edison (SCE) report about the charging habits of the utility's plug-in vehicle-driving customers. SCE serves about 180 Southern California cities and says there's little near-term risk for an increase in plug-in vehicle adoption overloading the grid. That's because about half of the plug-in drivers charge from a basic 120-volt source and that most charging is done overnight, during off-peak hours. The other good news is that range anxiety is at a minimum because 70 percent of SCE's plug-in driving customers commute less than 40 miles a day.

Of course, it's hard to worry about overload when a pretty good chunk of SCE's user base won't have access to at-home charging any time soon. While about half of SCE's customers live in apartments or condominiums, less than five percent of those multiunit structures are owned or overseen by people who'd consider adding charging stations for their residents. Still, SCE forecasts that it will have 350,000 plug-in vehicle owners in its territory by the end of the decade. Then we can start worrying about brown-outs. Maybe.


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  • 35 Comments
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is very interesting information that debunks so many of the EV worries. -OMG! I need to get a special expensive charger installed! No . . . 1/2 the people do just fine with an ordinary 120V outlet. -OMG! The EVs are going to crash the grid! No, they are charge at night when there is excess capacity. -OMG! I need to be able to drive 300 miles! No . . . you generally only drive 40 miles a day. The car can handle 80. If you need further then use carshare to get an ICE car.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        The range thing (except for tesla) is a real issue. If you are a part of a couple and have multiple cars, then great! But just about anyone that has an EV will need a second vehicle, unless they never go anywhere on the weekends. For couples or people with more than one vehicle? Great!
          EZEE
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EZEE
          @ mike... There are solutions, I was just offering a MINOR correction to Spec, or, better yet, a MINOR differing view point. I have nothing against an electric, spec's view, and any solution to the range issue is a good one (although right now, to me at least, the Volt seems to be the best balance on 'need').
          mikeybyte1
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EZEE
          You missed his last point about using car share to get a gas powered vehicle when you needed it. Granted, as has been stated many times, an EV is not for everyone. But if you have a commute where day in and day out you can get by on an EV, and maybe a few times a year you need to do a long trip, then an EV may work for you. I have recently started logging my daily trips and I am finding it is extremely rare for me to go more than 30 miles in a day. And long 100+ trips are very rare. So I am now considering all options for my next vehicle.
          Spec
          • 1 Day Ago
          @EZEE
          Range certainly is an issue. I personally solve it by having 2nd car. But honestly that 2nd car just sits in the driveway and rots. I've used it 3 times in the last year. I'm going to sign up with ZIPcar but my problem with them is that I can't park my car in the ZIPcar spot such that it is not easy for me to go get a ZIPcar. I (or they) need to figure out a solution for that problem.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      A CFL or LED light fixture consumes about 20% of an incandescent light bulb while providing the same amount of illumination. Since the national adoption of the non-incandescent light bulb for general lighting, electrical energy consumption has been reduced about 80%. As the LED light bulb becomes popularized and manufacturing cost declines further, an additional 25% reduction in electrical energy consumption is possible. Several years ago, SCE leadership spear headed a program that subsidized the purchase of CFL light bulbs. As a result of the energy savings, SCE has reaped the benefit of not having to construct expensive supplemental electricity generating plants even as the population has increased. This program has saved consumer much money and reduced environmental emission from electricity generating plants. A win-win conclusion.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Really, lighting made up for >80% of the nation's energy use? Good thing i've got CFLs! *cranks up 2000W air conditioning, 1500W refrigerator, 4500W water heater*
          Rotation
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          It isn't. It used to be half though. Now it's a lot lower. And I think that excludes edge cases like aluminum smelting, it's just referring to normal commercial/personal use.
          Greg
          • 1 Day Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          I can only speak to my own power consumption. My house's base consumption is under 5 kWh/day. That includes everything except HVAC: lighting, refrigerator, TV, computer, cooking, appliances, etc. In the dead of summer, AC pushes my consumption to over 40 kWh/day (which is actually quite low for my area). Over the entire year, nearly 3/4 of my electric consumption goes to HVAC. (My main lights are CFLs, but I only install them as the incandescents burn out.) From my own experience, I do not believe that lighting plays a significant role in power consumption.
        Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Some lighting has gone down that much, but most lighting still uses a lot of power. I don't get why people haven't switched here. And then there are about four hundred 25 or 40W lightbulbs in my office ceiling lighting...
      Ma Niggar
      • 1 Year Ago
      I find it amazing that oil companies are reducing their fuel prices to keep the consumers mind off the electric car kick.
      Defiant
      • 1 Year Ago
      This picture shows the car and the ocean. My new abundant fresh water and energy system from seawater, is off grid, 100% green and clean would fit in great here. Would take care of any energy spikes and loads needed by family's and industry's. All new system that will come out perhaps at the end of this year. Legal is holding up some stuff and the funds stuff. Well, it's going world wide. Green and Clean means no CO 2, or any other "stuff" that may harm, well anything. I'm going to get a Tesla one day. But, I'm going to use Mr. Tesla's "box of electronics" to never have the need to ever have to stop for a charge. Not that the charge time is an issue, it's fast and a battery change is freakishly fast, but, I know we can do better and go non stop safely. Think it will void the warrenty? LOL : ) Is there a way to make a six foot antenna look cool? : )
      flattalove
      • 1 Year Ago
      Plug ins by solar energy? Huh? Why not. This could beat anything if set up right. should not be that hard. We should try this.
      vendelavee
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can't wait for the study 10 years from now that shows EV's and their batteries cause cancer! Just as when cell phones gained massive use they came out with a study that showed they cause cancer too.
      vendelavee
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Still, SCE forecasts that it will have 350,000 plug-in vehicle owners in its territory by the end of the decade. Then we can start worrying about brown-outs. Maybe." There shouldn't be any brownouts in tens years if the jerks running the company spend the money to do the necessary service and infrastructure to meet the future demands of their customers and electric vehicles during those years. And history had shown the cheap greedy jerks WON'T. They won't spend money on what is necessary until there is a crisis.
      jeanpoetpicard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Grid brown out is only ONE problem. What do you do when you have to replace the batteries? They can't go into a landfill and it's the OWNERS responsibility to deal with that about 5 years after purchase (give or take). The problem (nice little secret that it is) will cost the owner possibly more than the vehicle was worth when bought. And what about "Global Warming"...that old saw. Most powerplants are fired with anything from Natural Gas to Coal (yes, still) or oil....electricity doesn't just happen...it has to be created somehow and solar, wind power etc are way behind the need now....what about then? The whole GREEN thing is either just woefully misplanned or deliberately intended to keep us hooked to an extention cord. The fact that we can hop in a car and go where we will is in the minds of a few....dangerous levels of freedom. Public Transportation will fix that. Or so it is thought. Just sayin.....
      cmontg27
      • 1 Year Ago
      no one is talking about what it costs to charge one up???
      Austin
      • 1 Year Ago
      The landlord shoulders all the liability for any injuries. Also there is maintenance involved long after the renter is gone. Why is it that people think that anyone who doesn't think the way they do are wrong? There is so much more than it just being the greedy landlord trying to gouge his poor helpless renters for every last dollar and then being obstinate. If you feel so strongly about it why don't you just purchase your own place? That way you can do whatever you like and can afford, without having to deal with a racist, right wing, gun loving, Obama hating landlord.
      Rotation
      • 1 Year Ago
      End charge sucks from the user's perspective. You want the customer to forgo having the car ready now for your own grid ends. They just won't go for it, they see the grid as without limits. If you want to spread out the start times, get the car makers to add a +0-30 minute random variance option in their timers. Then you can hope customers will turn that on and spread out the start times without penalizing themselves.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rotation
        I envision using the Internet. The power companies keep track of real-time power demand in zones and could put up a website that shows Red, Amber, Green for each zone. If the Demand suddenly spikes (i.e. everyone suddenly turns on major appliances within a 10 minute time frame) the status goes red. Chargers (either EVSEs or Onboard) would poll this website's data and based on the assigned zone, would determine if it is okay to begin charging.
      alfredschrader
      • 1 Year Ago
      Electric car I invented uses super capacitors, not batteries. Super capacitors charge instantly and produce 5,000 amps. I also invented a built-in electric power plant so it is cordless - it uses a small gasoline engine generator that gets 100 mpg. It will never have a dead battery because it doesn't use a battery, it uses supercapacitors that are always fully charged and that last almost forever. Supercacitors are made from aluminum and water and are totally recycleable.
        flattalove
        • 1 Day Ago
        @alfredschrader
        Cool> I think most everyone in the power business knows this and what's keeping them back? Its really something.
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