The Australian energy sector has issued a warning, fearing electric vehicles could place excessive loads on the grid during peak hours. Major energy companies say most owners could recharge their EVs at the peak time between 4pm and 8pm, around the same time other household appliances are switched on.
If this is going to be the case, electric companies say vast and costly revisions will need to be made, including a new system of augmented poles and wires to be put in place. According to SPAusnet in Victoria, which supplies around 620,000 customers with electricity, if just five per cent of customers owned an EV, “significant (network) augmentation” work would need to be carried out.
Additionally, Queensland’s Ergon Energy says that just one EV in the average household would double the power load of a house without an EV. Ergon said in a recent News Limited report,
“Uncontrolled charging will significantly increase electricity network peak demand, leading to increased capital investment in network capacity, leading to increased electricity tariffs.”
The Ministerial Council of Energy chairman, Martin Ferguson, has asked the Australian Energy Market Commission to investigate the issue.
The energy sector says that if necessary steps and precautions are taken to make sure EVs don’t put extra demands on the grid, electricity prices may actually fall due to more users consuming more electricity, as long as the loads are spread evenly throughout the day.