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EV hard impact on state electric grid.

William Clark's picture
Construction Coordinator Dominion Energy

I have been in the energy construction business for over  20 years. In this time I have came from being a Groundman to Construction Coordinator. I have worked in the fields of Transmission,...

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  • Aug 4, 2022

I have done a study for my own knowledge of EV vehicles and home charging in Virginia only because thats where I live. I based my study on 2021 average numbers published online. My study was done on the power grid and a bit of the cost the home owner would incur with EV’s. 

In 2021 Virginia shows that there are 3.5 million homes in the state. It also shows that the average home energy usage a month is 1276kWh. So, if there are 3.5 million homes with power in VA. That would mean in one month the electric utilities would provide 4,466,000,000 kWh in turn would be 4466 gigawatts. This is what the normal load would look like monthly right? 

Now we look at EV’s. In 2021 in Virginia there are 8.4 million registered vehicles on the road. It shows that out of the 8.4 million there are only 30,660 EV’s (thats less than %1). Studies show that the average home level 2 charger uses 406.5kWh a month. So, if we currently have 30660 EV’s in Virginia and each one has a level 2 charger at home we are adding 12,463,290 kWh (12.4 gigawatts) a month to the system. Let’s put the cost of the vehicle aside now and say the whole state converted to EV’s. The average household has 2 vehicles. We would hope that household would only need one charger. So, that makes 4.2 million level 2 chargers in Virginia. The kWh for a level 2 charger a month is 406.5kWh for only one EV. If the average household has two EV’s we have to double that so it would 813 kWh a month just to charge those EV’s. That would add 3,414,600,000 kWh (3414.6 gigawatts) to the system a month. This load would have to add to the current 4466 gigawatts. That would make the energy provider have to deliver 7880.6 gigawatts a month just to keep the average home working properly. Thats a 77% gigawatts increase. 

Now lets think about the cost of energy only. On average the price of a kWh is $.12 in Virginia. So, normal monthly revenue for power would be in the ballpark of $535,920,000.00 if the average home consumes 1276kWh a month. But, if we had to add these home EV chargers to homes that would up power/energy revenue cost  by $341,460,000.00 a month. If the kWh price stayed at $.12 per kWh that would mean the average price of the home owners electric bill would go from $152.76 at 1276kWh to $250.68 at 2089kWh. This would make everyone’s electric bill go up almost 40%. 

All of these numbers are based solely on homes. I have no idea what business pull from the electrical grid in the state of Virginia. With all this being said how much work and money would it take for the Virginia electrical grid to produce almost 8000 gigawatts a month for only homes? 

Again, as I said in the beginning all this information is based on my personal research and the numbers are from a 2021 survey. I hope to learn more about this new technology and how things can be greener without a huge impact to wallets and earth. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 4, 2022

That's a notable increase in power bill, but conceivably it's combined with a drop in the gasoline bill for the household going to zero! It's all about the tradeoffs

Charles Botsford, PE's picture
Charles Botsford, PE on Aug 5, 2022

Matt is correct. Any increase in the residential power bill at the $0.12/kWh listed will be offset by almost six to one drop in what would have been the gasoline bill. For example, driving 100 miles in an EV would use about 28.5 kWh and cost about $3.43 extra on your power bill. Gasoline, assuming a 25mpg car, would require 4 gallons, and would cost about $20 (at $5/gallon). Most electric utilities have time-of-use rates that push EV drivers to charge in the wee hours when no one else is using the grid, which means the grid isn't much impacted even with a high percentage of EVs. 

William Clark's picture
Thank William for the Post!
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