June 30, 2023


Categories: Electric Vehicles, GIS Mapping

What is The Impact of Electric Vehicles on Power Grids in Cities?

The electric vehicle is the future of transportation. It is one of the most eco-friendly and user-friendly models available today. It has lower costs, better speeds, and is very good for the environment.

But there needs to be careful planning for mass usage of EVs. Electric vehicles, as you can guess, runs on electricity. So we need proper infrastructure with charging stations so users can charge their electric vehicles. This requires building power grids or electrical grids.

In this blog, we examine the impact of EVs on power grids –

  • How will the power grid support EV charging stations?
  • What will be the impact of Electric vehicles on power grids?
  • How can we minimize this impact?

Electric Vehicle Adoption in India

No fuel, low maintenance, and better performance – electric vehicles are the vehicles of the future. They have transformed the energy sector toward sustainability and a greener future. Since these vehicles are efficient and environment-friendly, countries worldwide have switched to electric vehicles like electric buses, cars, and two- and three-wheelers. 

Similarly, in India, we are slowly gearing towards a wide usage of electric vehicles in daily life.  In fact, the Indian Government has resolved to convert all Government vehicles to electric vehicles by 2030.

While electric vehicles have time and again proven their merits, establishing and maintaining infrastructure for electric vehicle charging still comes as a potential challenge.

To build the electric vehicle infrastructure in India, we need to consider its potential negative and positive impacts on the surroundings. One of the biggest factors to consider is the power grid. Let’s understand what are power grids and how EV affects it.

What is a power grid? How is it relevant in EV infrastructure?

An electrical grid is an interconnected network of generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity. Power grids connect power stations, substations, transmission lines, distribution lines, and more. With a power grid, the government ensures electricity generated in the country is available everywhere it is needed.

As electric vehicles come into play, so do electric vehicle charging stations. Stations for charging 2-wheelers, 3-wheelers, and 4-wheelers on the road. This obviously requires a large amount of electricity and power. As electricity generation is not equally distributed throughout India, forming an efficient power grid is absolutely crucial for the proper adoption of EVs in India.

Negative Impact of Electric Vehicles on Power Grid

Whether battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), their charging needs to be regularized to avoid any negative impact on power grids.

If the power grid and electric vehicles charging stations are not rightly placed, it can have the following repercussions:

  • Charging electrical vehicles without control can lead to increased electricity demand, power losses, or overheating of the wires.
  • Recent research has shown that placing fast charging stations in weak buses affects the smooth operation of the power distribution network, which can also lead to economic losses.
  • Improper placement of charging stations can significantly impact the security of the system. For example, a recent study proved that the reliability indices (total duration of interruption within a period for an average customer) deteriorated significantly on the placement of fast charging stations for weak buses.

How To Minimize EV Impact on Power Grids?

From the examples mentioned above, we can say that EV infrastructure planning is very important. Below are two ways to skillfully place charging ports to avoid negative consequences.

  1. Distributing the Charging Stations –
    Distribute the charging stations to be accessible to most electrical vehicles of different routes. Moreover, it is also suggested to distribute them between several vehicles rather than concentrating them on a single vehicle.
  2. Being Mindful of Traffic Congestion –
    Roads get more congested than normal when charging stations are installed on routes with high traffic congestion. Placing them in a way that does not lead to traffic jams must be a priority.

How Can GIS Help in Efficient Power Grid Planning?

GIS, or Geographical Information System, uses computer-based tools to analyze and store geographical data, including the location of different features like buildings, streets, vegetation, etc., on land.

Optimal route analysis using GIS can be utilized to give real-time data to users about given powering points, traffic patterns, and road conditions. Moreover, many applications have been made to locate the nearest electric vehicle charging port, giving information about the occupancy of that power grid. 

GIS technology can help decrease the risk of sudden hikes in electricity demand or even overheating of wires. It can also reduce traffic congestion in areas with charging stations through route optimization.

Therefore, the power of GIS can be leveraged to give practical solutions and help you build the required electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The future of GIS and electric vehicles offers ample opportunities in the field of energy and sustainability.