EV Growing Pains Report Reveals that Newer Electric Vehicles Impact Electric Utility Demand at a Higher Rate as Average Vehicle Charging Load Doubles Over Past 5 Years

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Analysis of the world's largest electric vehicle data set by FleetCarma, a division of Geotab reveals how newer model electric vehicles will impact electric utilities at a higher rate than previously projected. The introduction of long-range electric vehicle models, such as the Tesla Model 3, has redefined the industry standard for electric range as well as charging capabilities. As a result, charging load for each charging event has nearly doubled from 4.5kW on average in 2014 to 9.7kW on average in 2019. EV Growing Pains, a new report on electric vehicle charging, reveals why up-to-date data is required to mitigate risks to the electricity distribution grid and help electric utilities effectively plan for and manage electric vehicle charging.

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What is dramatically different is the charging load for each charging event, nearly doubling from 4.5kW per vehicle on average in 2014 to 9.7kW per vehicle on average in 2019.

The EV Growing Pains report findings are based on an analysis of data from over 3,900 vehicles across North America, making this one of the largest and most up-to-date EV charging load studies ever conducted. The study included 40 different EV makes and models, 761,096 charging sessions, 2.3 million hours of charging, 8,576 MWh of energy, and 28.9 million miles of driving data.

The EV Growing Pains report reveals that the impact electric vehicles have on the grid has changed dramatically over the last 5 years. Increasing rates of electric vehicle adoption across North America combined with advances in batteries and charging technology will impact electric utility distribution management at a higher rate than previously projected.

The introduction of long-range electric vehicle models such as the Tesla Model 3 has redefined the industry standard for electric range as well as charging capabilities. While some aspects of charging behavior are similar, what is dramatically different is the per vehicle charging load for each charging event. It nearly doubled from 4.5kW on average in 2014 to 9.7kW on average in 2019.

Findings from the report reveal that electric utility demand managers need to plan for:

  • Average per vehicle energy consumption per charge event nearly doubled from 9.01 kWh in 2014 to 17.96 kWh in 2019.
  • An increase in faster home charging with level 2 home charging stations increasing from 63% in 2014 to 89% in 2019.
  • Higher power home charging sees charging load double from 4.5kW on average in 2014 to 9.7kW in 2019.

New electric vehicles present a need for territory-specific load profiling and regularly updated information specific to each service territory, which incorporates new vehicles as they enter the market. The EV Growing Pains report identifies risks to residential distribution grids created by an increase in long-range battery electric vehicle market share as well as steps to help understand and manage this impact.

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Eric Schmidt
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