Yes, A Surge In Electric Cars Is Trouble For Utilities

As automakers add electric cars to their line up, utilities are going to have to tune up their infrastructure to handle demand:

Reuters: Major utilities have established alliances with U.S. and foreign automakers in developing electrified vehicles, but they have less at stake, said Jim Piro, chief executive of investor-owned utility Portland General Electric Co, which is working with Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

Utilities will need to make major infrastructure changes that tie in to the need for plug-ins to work — like power grid development — even if electric cars remain a niche market, executives say.

“It’s going to help our load factor, but we are ready, so it’s not that much of a challenge,” said Piro. “The bigger challenge is for the automotive people to make a business case for customers to adopt these.”

Automakers say the fact that utilities reach almost every U.S. household through monthly utility bills offers them a huge chance to convince consumers to buy electric cars.

Consumers can expect announcements along with their monthly bills on how plugging in a rechargeable car at night when the power grid is less stressed will help lower energy expenses and cut carbon emissions, representatives of both industries say.

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