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Apartment Complexes, Electric Vehicles, and Load Management

Todd Carney's picture
Writer Freelance

Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Oct 3, 2022
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With gas prices rising again, many people are considering electric vehicles. As always with electric vehicles, there are concerns about how it could impact the grid. While many people have already written articles about how the use of electric vehicles could exhaust the grid, the Commercial Observer had an interesting article regarding how the availability of electric vehicle charging stations could impact load management.

California’s residents are adopting electric vehicles at record rates. Many are worried that they will not have enough energy to charge their vehicle when they are traveling or running errands. This is particularly true for people who live in low-income areas. Additionally, many people in these communities and throughout the state rent, so they do not have access to home charging stations. Some apartment complexes have considered installing charging stations, but it is not clear whether it is economically viable for them. Sometimes these charge stations can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is especially tough for smaller apartment complexes that are not owned by some multinational corporation.

An interesting question here, is whether having more charging stations could in homes, including at apartment complexes, could help with load management in the sense that if people are able to use charging stations throughout the day, then there will not be such a rush in peak hours.

Additionally, if the apartments will not foot the bill, then there is a question of whether the government should pay for these stations. It would require a lot more taxpayer money, but then the government could install these charging stations in a way that is fair to all communities. The government could also make sure that the infrastructure is set up in a way provides efficient distribution of energy.

The article highlighted that it is not just up to the apartment companies to make these adjustments. These apartment complexes typically have one electric provider for all their residences, so the electric companies would need to make their own adjustments for increased demand. This point is not new, as noted above, many people have pointed out the need for such adjustments with the grid overall.

The article concluded that projections show the use of electric vehicles will increase regardless of infrastructure changes. As a result, it is a good idea for the government, housing providers, and electric companies to work together to develop infrastructure that serves California’s residents and employs load management.v

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