U.S. Energy Providers Reach for Electric Cars to Increase Flatlining Energy Needs

Can EVs be the savior that the grid needs?

byRob Stumpf|
U.S. Energy Providers Reach for Electric Cars to Increase Flatlining Energy Needs

Despite more and more electronics becoming commonplace in the world, electricity demand isn't growing in the United States. More efficient circuitry has finally made waves enough to cause the demand to flatline, leaving utility providers scrambling for a way to increase revenue. That increase may come in the form of electric cars.

Experts have said that utility providers grossly underestimated the viability of renewable energy and its falling cost, eventually leading them to the situation that these providers have found them in now. Some utility companies are teaming up with automakers to offer rebates to their prospective customers who purchase an electric car while others are working to invest in expanding the charging infrastructure to allow for another form of energy reselling.

Recently, a group of lobbying power suppliers wrote a letter to Congress to protest the current EV rebate system and urge legislators to extend the tax credit. Currently, consumers who purchase an EV are entitled to a $7,500 tax credit until the automaker sells combined 200,000 units of any battery-powered vehicle in its fleet. Top U.S. manufacturers like Tesla and GM are on track lose their rebate status by the end of the year, given that they continue to produce and sell EVs in large quantities. This could put U.S. based manufacturers at a disadvantage should they lose the eligibility to offer customers the credit and overseas companies still remain eligible.

Currently, NPR says that less than one percent of cars on the road are electrified. While that may be minuscule now, it is set to rapidly increase as manufacturers and consumers alike are looking towards electrification as the future of their vehicle needs. One out of three consumers say that they would consider buying an EV as their next vehicle, and companies like Volkswagen are planning ahead to set themselves up to produce the necessary amount of cars for the future.

Improving the power situation is going to be a complicated task; it will cost billions of dollars to improve the infrastructure to handle all of the upcoming vehicles to plug in to charge. On top of this, renewable energy is becoming commonplace which adds complexity to balancing the grid. Both are growing at an unprecedented rate that, until just a few years ago, not many people would have predicted.