Infrastructural Vaporware

electric fire The head of Toronto’s electricity and internet services provider reports that Toronto could not handle a serious increase in electric car ownership:

“If you connect about 10 per cent of the homes on any given street with an electric car, the electricity system fails,” Anthony Haines told an audience at Ryerson University Wednesday. “It basically can’t handle that load.”

Plugging in a car battery to charge it up draws about triple the amount of power used by a typical home during the daytime, he said. Compounding the problem, most people will want to plug in their cars after work in the early evening, which is just when household demand for power hits its peak.

“You connect this huge load on the grid, and the grid simply won’t handle that type of load,” said Haines. “We need some innovative solutions.”

Clearly, shifting car-charging time into lower-use periods is among them, but someone has to figure out just how to go about it.

If this is the case in Canada, it’s got to be much worse in the United States.

Bottom line: The electrical infrastructure for widespread electric car ownership does not exist.

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