NEWS AND TRENDS
Burning the Midnight Electrons
Time-of-use rates can influence when electric vehicle (EV) owners charge their vehicles, suggests a recent study from Ecotality. Conducted by the EV Project and sponsored by the Department of Energy, the study collected data from 2,704 households with Nissan LEAFs, located in 18 regions across the United States.
Differences in charging behavior were clearly evident between, for example, the Nashville and San Francisco markets. In Nashville, EV owners tended to plug in the moment they returned home from work or other daily activities. Charging increased from 4:00 PM into the evening and peaked at 8:00 PM on weekdays, according to data from the study. These customers did not have time-of-use rates offered to them.
In San Francisco, on the other hand, charging spiked at midnight on weekdays and weekends. This coincided with the beginning of the off-peak electricity rate period set by Pacific Gas & Electric (the period starts at 12:00 AM and ends at 7:00 AM). Demand then peaked around 1:00 AM. Ninety percent of the EV owners in the San Francisco study live in PG&E’s service territory.
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