California, Texas, North Carolina Fuel Markets Will Be Impacted By Electric Cars

  • California, Texas, North Carolina Fuel Markets Will Be Impacted By Electric Cars

    According to an MSNBC article posted today, utilities companies in several parts of California, North Carolina and Texas are bracing for increased demand for electricity brought on by the popularity of electric vehicles in specific markets. Fuel Pricing Managers in these markets would be wise to keep a close watch on the growth of electric vehicles in their area, since electric vehicles are likely to have an impact on fuel pricing strategies as the overall fuel market ultimately shrinks in these areas.

    Electric vehicle clusters are expected in neighborhoods where:

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    • Generous subsidies are offered by states and localities
    • Weather is mild, because batteries tend to perform better in warmer climates
    • High-income and environmentally conscious commuters live


    The article goes on to name the specific cities of Santa Monica, Santa Barbara and Monrovia in California as likely electric vehicle clusters. Other likely electric vehicle clusters are Charlotte, Raleigh, Cary and Asheville, North Carolina; Orlando and Tampa, Florida; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Austin, Texas.

    The increased demand is analogous to the advent of air conditioners in the 1950’s and 60’s, and utilities companies are doing their best to be ready. “Electric vehicles have the potential to completely transform our business,” says David Owens, executive vice president of the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group.

    But many expect a bumpy road at first. Transformers that distribute power from the electrical grid to homes are often designed to handle fewer than a dozen. Extra stress on a transformer from one or two electric vehicles could cause it to overheat and fail, knocking out power to the block.

    The “nightmare” scenario, according to Austin Energy’s Rabago: People come home from work on a hot afternoon, turn on the air conditioner and the plasma television, blend some frozen cocktail, start cooking dinner on an electric stove —and plug their car into a home charging station. Auto executives say it’s inevitable that utilities will experience some difficulties early on. “We are all going to be a lot smarter two years from now,” says Mark Perry, director of product planning for Nissan North America.

    “It’s like you’re about to have a baby,” says Duke Energy’s Rowand. “You know it’s going to be good, but you also know there’s going to be some throw up and some dirty diapers, and you just hope that it’s something you are prepared for.”

    Read the entire article here.

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