California has ambitious goals for electric vehicles by 2035 while working to keep its electric grid in good working order during heat waves. Today we look at some projections for electric vehicles and their potential impact on electricity demand.
According to electric vehicle infrastructure company Future Energy, the average cost to install an EV charging station for a Tier 2 station is around $6,000 per port. However, several factors influence the costs of commercial electric vehicle charging stations: infrastructure, equipment, ancillary costs, subsidies and software.
Conservative estimate: the state must increase the number of stations by 86,000 per year.
45% of the stations are public (38,700) with an average cost estimated at $6,000 to set up.
That would be about $232 million per year, or $3 billion by 2035.
Level 1 chargers use 120 volt AC electricity to provide approximately 5 miles or less of range per hour of charging.
Level 2 chargers use AC electricity to charge a 208-240 volt plug-in electric vehicle and can provide approximately 14-35 miles of range per hour of charge.
DC fast chargers use 480 volt direct current electricity to charge an electric vehicle to 80% capacity in approximately 30 minutes, although the time required depends on the size of the vehicle’s battery and the power level of the charger .
The California Energy Commission has a dashboard with EV chargers and new EV sales here.
Earlier this month, during a heat wave, the state issued a flexible alert on September 5, and many skeptics expressed concern about the state’s ability to provide enough electricity. According to the California Energy Commission’s most recent forecast in 2021, electric vehicles would draw a maximum of 4% of California’s electricity supply, even during peak demand. But they did not specify what the source of electricity would be.
The 4% electricity consumption scenario assumes an aggressive EV adoption rate of 5.4 million light-duty EVs and 193,000 medium- and heavy-duty EVs on the road in 2030. To date, 1, 2 million electric vehicles have been sold in California.
The best time to charge electric vehicles is at night, after the Flex Alert, according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power speaking to Spectrum News 1 in Los Angeles. LADWP has enough energy supply to meet EV charging demand even during the peak hours of a Flex Alert, the rep said, but off-peak charging helps reduce stress on the electricity distribution network.
The California Energy Commission’s assessment also found that in 2030 electricity consumption from electric vehicle charging could reach about 5,500 megawatts around midnight and 4,600 MW around 10 a.m. on a typical weekday. , increasing electricity demand by up to 20-25% at such times.
The main source of electricity during these hours is natural gas.
California power supply trend
From September 13
Note: On the evening of the Flex Alert (September 5), natural gas supply jumped to over 26,000 megawatts around 10 p.m.
From September 5
You can see California’s daily energy supply, demand, and emissions at California ISO.
The energy of electric cars
According to Energy Sage, a solar installation company, on average Americans drive about 14,000 miles per year, and according to data from fueleconomy.gov, electric vehicles consume an average of 0.35 kilowatt hours per mile driven.
This equates to a Level 2 home EV charger requiring approximately 13.4 kWh of electricity per day.
California already has about 1 million electric vehicles on the road. Doubling that would represent an increase of about 13,400 megawatts per day or 558.3 megawatts per hour. This does not appear to be a major burden on the network, even during heat waves. But adding 2 million EVs per year as planned for 2035 could require a substantial expansion of power supply resources.
Proportions of solar panels
The following calculations are estimates for charging cars with renewable energy. On average, it takes 7 to 9 solar panels to charge an electric car that is driven daily. Conservatively, one painting (7 panels) would be approximately 122.8 square feet per car. Therefore, the 2035 goal of about 2 million new electric vehicles sold per year would require about 5,638 acres of new solar panels per year. That’s a space more than 10 times larger than Disneyland in Anaheim (or about 8.8 square miles) per year.
Three of the five largest solar farms in the country are in California and each is 3,200 acres or more.
The battery case
In February, Redwood Materials of Carson City, Nevada, announced in a press release that it would collect and recycle hybrid and EV batteries into new battery materials for California. It says it will accept all lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries in the state. Previously, depleted EV batteries were shipped overseas.
Redwood Materials currently recycles more than 6 gigawatt hours of batteries each year, enough for 60,000 electric vehicles. The company hopes to reach production of 1 million electric vehicles by 2025.
Battery recycling will play an equally important role in shaping the future of electric vehicles, helping to reduce e-waste and the need for harmful mining practices for lithium and other minerals.
Sources: California Energy Commission, Redwood Materials, California Independent System Operator, Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom, energysage.com, insideevs.com, Spectrum News 1, California EPA