Calif. Plan, N.Y. Heat May Foretell Car/Power Gridlock

Thursday, 08 Jul 2010 06:02 PM

By Mike Tighe

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
A proposed law in California and a heat wave on the opposite side of the country are colliding to illustrate the potential for a gridlock of a whole new sort as the age of hybrid cars advances.

Fried electrical grids could be a bigger concern than tied traffic grids.

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law Wednesday that extends permission for solo drivers of vehicles that run on electricity or compressed natural gas to use carpool lanes into 2015, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Otherwise, that privilege would have ended Jan. 1.

But another proposal that could reverberate along the Pacific Coast Highway — to broaden the perk to other vehicles — could collide with reality like a crash-test dummy, say experts in The Golden State and in The Big Apple.

That bill would extend the carpool privilege to 40,000 more vehicles, plus plug-in hybrids, the Mercury News reports.

Some experts question the workability of the plan, saying that the electrical infrastructure simply doesn’t exist to charge so many cars without straining the power grid.

Echoing that concern is the automotive blogger at The New York Times, in light of the fact that the Big Apple is sweltering in a thermometer-busting heat wave.

Much of the country also is shriveling in the heat, causing power outages in some areas, Jim Motavalli notes in the Times’ “Wheels” blog.

“Suppose the summer peak load also included plug-in electric cars?” Motavalli frets. “The consumption from a charging E.V. can cause a home’s load to double, so it’s worth considering the potential for electric cars to cause brownouts when more of the cars are eventually on the streets.”

Others told Motavalli that they share his concern. “In a situation like New York is in right now, charging electric vehicles could add to the burden pretty significantly,” said Jack Nerad, an executive market analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

The load would be much less if electric cars were charged overnight, “but there’s no guarantee of that,” Motavalli quoted him as saying.

Electrical vehicle expert Phil Gott speculated that utilities will see the demand and prepare for it. Maybe.

“If they elect not to take it seriously, then yes, we’ll have issues,” Gott acknowledged.

For its part, Con Ed, New York City’s major purveyor of electricity, short-circuits such concern, although it has been asking customers to turn off nonessential power because of the strain its grid is enduring amid recent oven-like conditions.

“We don’t foresee a problem because of the small number of vehicles expected over the next few years,” Con Ed spokeswoman Sara Banda told Motavalli.

Unless, of course, those lights at the end of the darkened Lincoln Tunnel are hybrids, looking for an outlet.

For the Wheels blog in The New York Times — Click Here Now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

House Oversight Panel to DHS: White House Needs Better Fence

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 20:10 PM

House lawmakers are pressing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson for details on how his department is going to boost . . .

NYC's Metropolitan Opera Hocks its Chagalls

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 21:07 PM

New York City's Metropolitan Opera Association had its rating cut by Moody's Investors Service to three steps above junk . . .

Ga. Airline Worker Arrested in Gun Smuggling Plot

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 20:59 PM

Federal authorities say an Atlanta airline employee is suspected of helping smuggle firearms to New York City on passeng . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved