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Electric vehicle study sees opportunity for utilities

Increasing demand for electric vehicles in the United States, over the next decade, will create revenue opportunities for electric utilities that invest in greater grid capacity and offer EV charging and related services, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study, by the Boston Consulting Group, assumes a significant leap in consumer demand for electric vehicles, which continue to account for only a fraction of U.S. vehicle sales.

BCG estimates that 20 to 30 per cent of all U.S. new car sales by 2030 will be electric or hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles.

Last year, plug-in hybrids and pure EVs accounted for just two per cent of total U.S. car sales, according to the website InsideEVs.com.

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BCG predicted that up to 12 per cent of all vehicles on U.S. roads will be plug-in hybrid or pure electric by 2030, stretching “the capacity of the current grid” when charging in certain locations or at certain times of the day.

The study’s authors suggested that utilities consider expanding their range of services and explore such options as subscription services that impose a flat EV charging fee while providing customers with a free home charger that automatically charges a vehicle over-night and during periods of off-peak demand.

Utilities also were urged to consider offering consulting services, as well as software solutions to both consumers and commercial customers for energy and fleet management. (NAN)