New York and Massachusetts are set to phase out fossil fuel car sales by 2035. According to a new study, increasing demand for electricity over the next decade will require connection to high-capacity transmission lines.
That Electric Highways Study, created by utility National Grid in collaboration with traffic analysis organizations CALSTART, RMI, Geotab and Stable Auto, provides a blueprint for the strategic deployment of fast charging stations along highway corridors. It is designed to help utilities and policymakers make smarter decisions about grid connections and infrastructure, avoid repeated upgrades, and ensure grid readiness does not hinder the clean energy transition.
The study examined current traffic patterns and expected charger usage to forecast charging needs at 71 freeway locations in New York and Massachusetts. According to the results, more than a quarter of the sites surveyed will eventually need as much electricity as an outdoor sports stadium in 10 years, some even as much as a small town. Existing transmission lines, often running parallel to highways, could provide a turnkey solution if highway charging stations can be connected to the high-voltage transmission grid.
“This type of holistic, long-term infrastructure planning will be critical to making the transition to clean energy as efficient as possible,” said Brian Gemmell, COO NY Electric, National Grid. “We have a responsibility to make smart investments that work the first time and ensure the power is there when drivers need it.”
“Our study with National Grid and partners provides the clear insights policymakers need to support equitable and cost-effective rapid charging deployment at the scale needed to meet New York and Massachusetts EV adoption targets.” , said Ben Mandel, Executive Director, Northeast Region, CALSTART.
“Stable’s predictive models use millions of geospatial data points mapped to the actual usage rates of thousands of chargers in service today to help understand today’s demand and its future growth,” said Stable co-founder and CEO Rohan Puri . “Predicting future power demand informs planning and enables strategic deployment of charging infrastructure while maintaining a strong power grid.”
Source: National Network