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Why experts warn not to charge electric cars at night – What is the risk?


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US researchers report the vast majority of electric vehicle owners charge them at home in the afternoon or evening

As the number of electric cars, whose batteries need charging, is constantly increasing, it should be avoided that this is done en masse at night in homes, because there is risk of overloading the electrical grid, according to researchers in the US who have studied the issue and are issuing a warning before the problem worsens. In practical terms, they say, this means more charging per day at shared stations outside the home or workplace.

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The researchers at Stanford University in California, who made the relevant publication in the journal Energy “Nature Energy”point out that so far – worldwide – the vast majority of electric vehicle owners charge them at home afternoon or evening, preferably during the hours when the cheapest night electricity tariff applies. But at this rate, as they estimate, it is expected to increase significantly in a few years the nighttime peak demand for electricity.

The researchers suggest the competent Authorities to implement incentives which will push the owners of electric cars to charge them during the day. To date incentives (in particular the cheaper night tariff) encourage consumers to recharge their vehicle batteries in the evenings, such as night users e.g. of their washing machines and dishwashers. If this trend continues, then the power grid may become unstable.

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“The findings of the study have two essential implications: The first is that ‘price signals’ are not aligned with what would be best for the electricity grid and for consumers, while the second is the need for more investment in charging infrastructure in the spaces where people work,” said Associate Professor of Energy Science and Technology Ines Azevedo.

Charging during the day has, according to the researchers, another advantage: It can draw on the generated solar energy immediately when it is available, without the need for power companies to invest in more renewable energy storage facilities so that it should be available in the evenings when electric vehicle owners need it today.

See here scientific publication


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