Garage of the Future: Supporting America’s New Re-Fueling Station

By Teri Viswanath

March 10, 2022

Key Points

  • While U.S. electricity generation can adequately support the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), it is far from clear whether the distribution system is equally prepared to deliver 30% more electricity. Widespread uncontrolled charging, whether from residential or commercial members, could inevitably overwhelm local systems.
  • As transportation turns electric, co-ops’ load flexibility will enable them to vary EV charging load up or down, balance load, and maintain system stability. The challenge, of course, is for electric cooperatives to figure out when member drivers will charge their EVs and how to influence that point of charge.
  • Most EV charging takes place in home garages, and will continue to. However, thoughtful planning on the placement of public chargers could be an economic boost to local business, keeping an even greater share of consumer spending in the community.
  • The additional revenue that electric cooperatives earn from community charging will eventually offset the increased investment needed for new and upgraded distribution assets. However, this investment is needed now, which puts electric cooperatives under pressure to manage growth as more members ultimately adopt EVs.

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