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A lot of interesting conversation takes place annually at the SAE World Congress. The conference brings together heads of companies, scientists, engineers and people from many other walks of life. With so much diversity present at a single event, it's only a matter of time before some off-the-wall idea got bounced around for adamant attendees to duke it out.

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As much as we like plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), the fact is there just aren't that many of them on the roads, yet. Well the IRC, a group of power grid operators from the United States and Canada, are predicting that 1,000,000 new PEVs could be on North American roads by the end of the decade. The group has released the results of a study they conducted on what the future effect of that many electric vehicles sucking on the nations' electric teets might look like.

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2011 Chevy Volt - Click above for a high res image gallery

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Michael Morris, Chairman and CEO of American Electric Power, believes that the U.S. electrical grid is capable of supporting up to 60 million plug-in hybrid vehicles right now. In a speech at the Detroit Economic Club, the chief of the biggest electricity supplier in the United States said that up to 20 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet could be switched over to plug-in capability and the grid would be fine. Like other proponents of plug-in vehicles, Morris feels that PHEVs would actually help i

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Studies have been performed that indicate that there is enough excess electricity already being produced to charge a nation of electric cars. One hitch to that plan, though, is that it requires people to charge their vehicles while they sleep, during "off-peak" hours. For this reason, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory ran some numbers and found that the worst-case daytime charging scenario could require up to 160 new power plants to be erected nationwide. Their projected best-case scenario inclu

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