Why utilities must embrace the electrification of the transportation sector.
A recent article from the consultancy of Black & Veatch asserted that
"Utilities [in the United States] are already facing the burden of decreasing load demands, which are unlikely to return to the levels of years past."
With no disrespect to Black & Veatch, this is probably wrong. More likely, electrification of the transportation sector will increase load demands noticeably by 2025 (a mere eight years from today), and continue to grow rapidly thereafter.
Here's the math: 11.4 million Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) in the United States by 2025, each driving an average of 1123 miles per month with an efficiency of 275 watt hours per mile, will create an increase in demand for electricity by 3,250,000 megawatt hours per month. If you add in a 20% overhead for charging inefficiencies, this represents about 4,000,000 megawatt hours per month.
In 2016, total electrical generation in the United States was around 325,000,000 megawatt hours per month, so BEVs will contribute an additional 1.2% to the total demand in the United States. And BEVs sales are predicted to ramp quickly thereafter, leading to even higher demand.
Two points worth mentioning: this growth will not be evenly spread. Some regions in the U.S. such as the coastal states will see more rapid adoption of BEVs. And the adoption rates in the U.S. are likely to be much slower than many other countries.
Smart utilities will prepare for widespread electrification of the transportation sector.