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 includes people only charging their cars after 10:00 pm and may not require any new power plants at all. That's a huge spread, of course, and we'd expect to see reality set in somewhere in between those two extremes. Of course, it would be great to see a large number of people choose to purchase renewable power, either from their utility or using solar cells or wind generators of their own. It is impossible at this point to know how consumers will react to electric cars being available on the market, but now is the time to start planning, so we're happy to see reports like this one being conducted.
Plug-ins could require new 160 power plants to be built... or none at all
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