Commentary: Gridlock Or Grid Upgrade? Legislation Aims To Address Grid Readiness

Would you be surprised if I told you that the number of electric vehicles (EVs) in Maryland increased by over 3,000% since 2013? EVs are continuing their upward trend in Maryland and around the U.S., marking a record 12% market share in December alone. But with all these new EVs in our state and country, how are we preparing our grid for the needed power?

Let’s look at some recent data on how much electricity is needed in Maryland to handle the anticipated levels of just transportation electrification. Analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute shows that Montgomery County alone will require an additional 1.8 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity production to support anticipated levels of light-duty transportation electrification by 2030 — just six years away. A nearly 350% increase in electricity usage from just light-duty EVs.

To further illustrate, research conducted by National Grid, a gas and electric company; CALSTART, a national nonprofit that focuses on clean transportation; and RMI, a clean energy research organization, shows a typical highway rest stop will need about 20 fast chargers for EVs to meet demand. That’s the equivalent of powering a professional outdoor sports stadium, and about half of the power needed to serve the entire Empire State Building.