- Electric vehicles are helping drive down electricity prices in the United States, according to a new study.
- They generate a lot of revenue for utility companies, but they don’t cost much to provide energy.
- Utilities can’t make endless profits, so EVs can help keep prices down.
Electric vehicle owners aren’t just reducing their own carbon footprint. Recent research Funded by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Researchers at Synapse Energy Economics looked at three utilities in California that are providing electric vehicles to millions of households (over 735,000 by the end of 2021). They compared the cost of providing energy to these EVs to the revenue generated by customers, and found that from 2012 to 2021, EV owners will bring his $1.7 billion net profit to electric utilities. I understand.
So, are utilities and their shareholders getting rich from Tesla drivers? We need to give back to our customers in some way. (In California and other states, this is done through a mechanism called “revenue segregation.”)
Importantly, even though EV customers use significantly more power Given the cost of generating, transmitting and distributing energy, it is relatively cheap for power companies to serve. A large part of this is that drivers tend to charge their cars during off-peak hours (e.g. at night). This time of day is when the grid has plenty of capacity and the power company can supply electricity cheaply.
“Electric vehicles use the electric grid infrastructure more efficiently because they are charging primarily during off-peak hours, so they don’t add a lot of additional capacity costs,” says Melissa Whited, one of the researchers. The author told an insider.
The alternative reality, where EV owners consume most of their power during peak demand periods, requires costly investments in transmission and use of systems with high operating costs. “Peaker” power plantBut our reality is the opposite.
To arrive at the $1.7 billion figure, the researchers hypothesized that EV owners were charged a higher rate than other customers, following California’s tiered rate system, which raises prices for larger energy consumers. . Results may be different in other regions, Whited said.
Other studies have reached similar conclusions. According to his 2021 report from MJ Bradley & Associates, a consulting firm focused on environmental issues, more EVs charging in Nevada will $123 off annual utility bills per household by 2050.