If Thanksgiving Did not Break the Grid, then Neither Will EVs


By Assaf Oron

Having adopted media tales about EVs for ~10 years, I’m acquainted advert nauseum with all of the well-worn anti-EV tropes.

With my very teeny megaphone, I’ve executed my little bit to attempt to dispel them over time. In 2015, I went on report in a scientific journal, countering the misguided EV footprint evaluation revealed by a number one environmental-health analysis group. Theirs was a basic case of “rubbish in, rubbish out” evaluation. The transport mode they claimed was general “more healthy” than EVs (solely when utilizing rubbish numbers, in fact) was none aside from “clear diesel.” The digital ink had barely dried on the kerfuffle when “clear diesel” was outed as a felony Volkswagen hoax.

The identical yr, I additionally countered the media derision and handwringing about most EVs on the time having quick vary and costing greater than gas-powered autos. As I wrote, “By no means Present a Idiot a Job Half-Performed” — it’s foolish to critique not to mention dismiss a rapidly-evolving new tech over its present specs whereas ignoring its potential and its confirmed fee of enchancment.

All these factors have been vindicated bigly. Now, when People can get an electrical Ford F-150 for a aggressive worth, not to mention smaller beasts — and when a lot of the world’s governments have put their foot down firmly in favor of EVs being the best way to go vs. the local weather disaster — these once-dominant anti-EV tropes are being relegated to the perimeter.

Sadly, there are nonetheless trillions of {dollars} in vested fossil pursuits seeking to delay and derail the EV transition by any means potential. Complicated and serious-sounding media spin stays a good way for them to try this. So, immediately, we’re listening to increasingly more: “how, probably, can the electrical grid maintain all these EVs?”

Thanksgiving weekend is the right event for countering this spin.

This weekend, tens of tens of millions of American households baked their vacation turkey. Getting a turkey correctly cooked requires a minimum of 3–4 hours of steady baking. Have you learnt your oven’s energy consumption? Does anybody actually care? Nicely, in case you’ve by no means checked, within the US it’s usually some 40A on 240V, or ~10kW.

In addition to turkey-cooking, Thanksgiving additionally marks a time when People spend lengthy days and nights collectively indoors. In a lot of the nation, the climate is chilly, so heating is required. In accordance with the most recent EIA survey, 40% of US households use electrical energy for heating, a quantity that’s positive to rise. So, on the identical time that they’re baking their turkeys, tens of millions of households additionally draw a considerable variety of kilowatts to maintain themselves snug.

Have you ever ever heard utilities warn People to not all cook dinner their turkeys on the identical time? Or to stagger the cooking and the heating? Or media tales about how Thanksgiving electrical energy wants felled the grid? I’ve by no means heard of such a narrative; probably as a result of this stage of consumption, even for a number of hours straight, shouldn’t be a critical menace upon the grid.

Now, customary medium/high-end dwelling EV chargers draw 6–7kW, considerably lower than your cooking oven. Though there’s some development to maneuver in direction of ~10kW chargers, most households in all probability gained’t want that fee. It’s because most dwelling EV charging can simply happen in a single day, lots sufficient time for six–7kW to cost most EVs from practically empty to almost full.

In fact, in a single day can be when the remainder of electrical energy consumption is at its lowest, putting far much less stress on the grid than that nationwide turkey-baking fest we’ve simply gone via.

That is earlier than we even discuss chopping down on the large quantities of electrical energy waste happening within the US — e.g., extreme summer time cooling and winter heating, and incandescent/halogen lamp use refusing to die. And we haven’t talked about the substantial grid-stabilizing potential of vehicle-to-grid EV charging.

Briefly: benefit from the leftovers out of your conventional Thanksgiving dinner or vegetarian/vegan different Thanksgiving dinner, and don’t let anti-EV spin dampen your vacation spirit.

Featured picture courtesy of Ford




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