Utilities expert says that nation’s grid is ready for plug-in hybrids

According to a specialist from the Electric Power Research Institute, The U.S.’s power grid will be able to handle an onslaught of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Eladio Knipping, senior technical manage at EPRI, said that with smart planning the transition should be pretty smooth.

Knipping, speaking at the Automotive News Green Car Conference, said that even if the plug-in hybrid penetration rate in the U.S. rises to 60 percent by 2050, the grid can handle it since it assumes a modest increase in power load over time. However, he said that power companies would need to start using smarter technologies to maximize electricity use in off-peak hours.

Knipping said that consumers would also need to be educated as to what is the best time to charge their plug-in hybrids and would need incentives to charge at night, such as lower raters.