Electric Highways

timbop

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Battery storage currently makes no sense for consumers. It will cost you about $1k for every 1kWh of storage. It would cost me $24k for a battery storage solution that could cover charging for my daily commute only
I haven't priced batteries lately, but when I got my solar it was a lot less than that.

Regardless, the current high demand and low supply is an issue - although not a permanent one.

 

Motomax

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I haven't priced batteries lately, but when I got my solar it was a lot less than that.

Regardless, the current high demand and low supply is an issue - although not a permanent one.
My quote was about $1k per kWh for a lithium iron system, I forget which brand. The Tesla power walls are about 800 per KWh and made with lithium ion which is less robust for this type of application.
 

Motomax

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I don't think it will change that much. Overnight L2 is actually better for the grid (load-leveling)... up to a point. But while we will have millions of people with EVs charging at night, it's not usually every night. Average daily miles is like 40. Most only need an average of 10-15 kWh/day, with staggered charging days. That's not minor, but it's not anywhere close to a full battery-worth. We might see more charging time management through the night (via rates or smart control) to even it out more through the night.
You’re right, if you can fully manage it through smart charging it’s not that big of a deal. The good thing about power plants is their ability to ramp up and down quickly based on demand.
the problem is that power generation is going to be completely changed in the next few decades in states like California. We already import 25% of our energy because we’ve shutdown too many power plants. Solar is great but it’s useless at night. Solar already covers most of our states energy use during the day. as more and more power plants shut down, how do we keep up demand when it’a dark out? We will just import it all and that’s expensive compared to solar which will be so abundant. Hence why peak pricing will shift.
 

dbsb3233

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You’re right, if you can fully manage it through smart charging it’s not that big of a deal. The good thing about power plants is their ability to ramp up and down quickly based on demand.
the problem is that power generation is going to be completely changed in the next few decades in states like California. We already import 25% of our energy because we’ve shutdown too many power plants. Solar is great but it’s useless at night. Solar already covers most of our states energy use during the day. as more and more power plants shut down, how do we keep up demand when it’a dark out? We will just import it all and that’s expensive compared to solar which will be so abundant. Hence why peak pricing will shift.
Yep. For places that have good 24x7 baseload power, it's not really a problem. And in fact, can help the grid when people charge EVs overnight. Although it will get interesting to see how they control/incentivize timing on it. There will be a natural tendency by EV owners to start their charges right at the off-peak time (11pm or something), and that could create it's own duck curve when they're filling up and shutting off by 3am or 4am, leaving a low spot the rest of the morning. They may need to apply the equivalent of watering days, to stagger people's starting times throughout the night. Even# houses get 11pm-5am cheap rates, odd# get 2am-8am. Or something like that.

But in places that are taking the risky approach of prematurely squashing their 24x7 baseload power, well, that's on them. That's a whole different (self-imposed) problem they're creating for themselves.
 

Mach1E

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Except your point that because the CA systems operator asked EV owners for a minor favor somehow describes a "problem" was factually not a problem, or an indictment on the size/strength of the grid here as it relates to supporting EV growth. Two reasons: 1) zero EV drivers were stopped from charging their vehicles during those high demand hours, and 2) literally nobody here charges during those hours anyway (unless an emergency), because electric rates are double during the 4-9 pm high demand hours in the summer.

BTW, Californians responded to that request in spades (by reducing home AC). No outages occurred. And one might say it's a problem we don't charge from 4-9 pm during summer months. The counter to that is that I've never gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to go fill up my car with gas so I could start the next day with a full tank. And yet that is our beautiful reality with EV. Charging overnight with zero stress on the grid because overall demand is so low during those hours. ...And nobody moved away because they were asked to pitch in and help for a few hours.
You just somehow redefined the word “problem” to somehow not be a “problem?”

Those are some interesting mental gymnastics you’re trying. I’m just not buying it.

The power grid infrastructure is a problem…….. now. Plain and simple.

Expect to be asked for more “favors“ in the future if they don’t make some major changes.
 


ca_jon

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You just somehow redefined the word “problem” to somehow not be a “problem?”

Those are some interesting mental gymnastics you’re trying. I’m just not buying it.

The power grid infrastructure is a problem…….. now. Plain and simple.

Expect to be asked for more “favors“ in the future if they don’t make some major changes.
No, explained the two factual reasons it was not a problem. Did you read my post, or just the first sentence?
 

Mach1E

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No, explained the two factual reasons it was not a problem. Did you read my post, or just the first sentence?
Read the whole thing.

Rationing electricity is a problem.

And your solution isn’t a solution for everyone. Not every can charge at home overnight.

As California is forcing 100% adoption of BEVs, the problem will continue to get worse.
 

ca_jon

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Read the whole thing.

Rationing electricity is a problem.

And your solution isn’t a solution for everyone. Not every can charge at home overnight.

As California is forcing 100% adoption of BEVs, the problem will continue to get worse.
You're literally making stuff up. The fact is, there was/is no rationing. And 100% EV adoption in this state won't happen for at least another 25 years. You really think the state will not develop any additional infrustructure to support the increased electricity demand in the coming decades? Clearly, you don't know California. For example, technology is right around the corner that will enable all those EVs in our driveways (or the fleet of EV school buses sitting idle in their parking lot) to pump electricity Back Into the grid if/when there's an actual electrical shortage due to a fire or too many A/Cs running, thus eliminating the short term shortage, while at the same time serving as a home generator.

Word of advice - consider the source of your information before making stuff up in this forum. Because the only actual "problem" here is in the editorial skills of right wing media. Here's a couple of sources/stories that back up my points and don't spew a bunch of false hate towards both the facts, and this state:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...-electric-car-sales-2026-gas-cars/7888843001/

https://blog.ucsusa.org/samantha-houston/can-the-electric-grid-handle-ev-charging/
 

Mach1E

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You're literally making stuff up. The fact is, there was/is no rationing. And 100% EV adoption in this state won't happen for at least another 25 years. You really think the state will not develop any additional infrustructure to support the increased electricity demand in the coming decades? Clearly, you don't know California. For example, technology is right around the corner that will enable all those EVs in our driveways (or the fleet of EV school buses sitting idle in their parking lot) to pump electricity Back Into the grid if/when there's an actual electrical shortage due to a fire or too many A/Cs running, thus eliminating the short term shortage, while at the same time serving as a home generator.

Word of advice - consider the source of your information before making stuff up in this forum. Because the only actual "problem" here is in the editorial skills of right wing media. Here's a couple of sources/stories that back up my points and don't spew a bunch of false hate towards both the facts, and this state:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...-electric-car-sales-2026-gas-cars/7888843001/

https://blog.ucsusa.org/samantha-houston/can-the-electric-grid-handle-ev-charging/
What are you even talking about?

It’s just a simple comment about how they already asked people NOT to charge their cars due to a power shortage. That sure sounds like an infrastructure problem today.

What is “made up” is you trying to use a straw man argument about a point I’m NOT making.
 

devmach-e

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What are you even talking about?

It’s just a simple comment about how they already asked people NOT to charge their cars due to a power shortage. That sure sounds like an infrastructure problem today.

What is “made up” is you trying to use a straw man argument about a point I’m NOT making.
They also asked people to set their air conditioners to a higher temperature, avoid the use of heavy appliance usage during the hours of 5pm and 9pm, and to do other electricity conservation steps in the face of a resource shortfall due to an extended heatwave. That’s not necessarily indicative of a infrastructure problem that EVs are causing to be worse. It’s indicative that the nation has an issue with heatwaves and the reliance on tons of air conditioning. If there were daily calls for months on end calling for conservation, then you might have a point.
 

timbop

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They also asked people to set their air conditioners to a higher temperature, avoid the use of heavy appliance usage during the hours of 5pm and 9pm, and to do other electricity conservation steps in the face of a resource shortfall due to an extended heatwave. That’s not necessarily indicative of a infrastructure problem that EVs are causing to be worse. It’s indicative that the nation has an issue with heatwaves and the reliance on tons of air conditioning. If there were daily calls for months on end calling for conservation, then you might have a point.
I would also add that the issue with power consumption predates the EV era. In NJ (and I am sure other states) for decades the utilities have had programs in place wherein they give a reduced rate to customers who are willing to have their air conditioners "throttled" by the utility in times of overly heavy load. I also distinctly remember occasional periods of "rolling blackouts" being an issue for decades also.
 

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They also asked people to set their air conditioners to a higher temperature, avoid the use of heavy appliance usage during the hours of 5pm and 9pm, and to do other electricity conservation steps in the face of a resource shortfall due to an extended heatwave. That’s not necessarily indicative of a infrastructure problem that EVs are causing to be worse. It’s indicative that the nation has an issue with heatwaves and the reliance on tons of air conditioning. If there were daily calls for months on end calling for conservation, then you might have a point.
Potato potato.

We don’t have enough electricity.

So what’s the cause?

Too much use or not enough infrastructure?

The obvious answer is both.

But using more electricity (for our cars) obviously doesn’t help the problem.

Is it the only cause? Of course not! But it’s relevant to the discussion since we are talking about infrastructure on an electric car forum.

But either way, we need the infrastructure in place to charge our cars as well as safely heat and cool our homes.
 

Mach1E

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I would also add that the issue with power consumption predates the EV era. In NJ (and I am sure other states) for decades the utilities have had programs in place wherein they give a reduced rate to customers who are willing to have their air conditioners "throttled" by the utility in times of overly heavy load. I also distinctly remember occasional periods of "rolling blackouts" being an issue for decades also.
Certainly not a unique nor new problem.

But BEVs can increase our dependence on the grid.

There are plenty of solutions. Unfortunately none are cheap $$$$.
 

milepost1

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Yes electric grid is already being upgraded and will continue to be upgraded. If anyone recalls at one time thier we're brownouts/blackouts due to all the new AC use. We didn't jump up and down and say we need to stop using AC. The grid was upgraded, the world didn't end. Utilities are already aware and upgrading as needed. They upgrade as new housing developments and/or demand goes. It will always be an issue when some event heat wave cold snap causes high usage. Upgrading to handle the few days with excess power usage can be done but is very expensive. So the grid is built to handle 99% of peak usage. Calif. Can handle those peak usage days but must buy electricity from more expensive or more poluting sources.

 

 
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