The Future is Electric

Our blog posts will examine how Atom Power’s core technology enables the “electrification of everything” and how we’re working with commercial and multi-family property owners, developers, fleet owners, home builders, utilities, and industrial customers, among others, to make that transition efficient and affordable. From transportation to industrial automation, commercial and multi-family properties to single family homes—the future is electric. Today, we’ll begin with electric vehicles.

The rising adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging infrastructure is paving the way to a clean energy future. Increased adoption of EVs means larger energy demands, especially for multi-family residences and commercial facilities. And larger energy demands can lead to higher electricity bills. So, how do we balance goals to electrify everything and manage electricity bills?

Why EVs are Replacing Gas-Powered Vehicles

EVs enjoy several advantages over gas-powered vehicles, including improved fuel economy and lower fuel costs. They also use less fuel because they employ electric-drive technologies that boost vehicle efficiency (e.g., regenerative braking). However, one of the biggest reasons for EV adoption is their reduced carbon emissions as compared to gas-powered vehicles. The U.S., like many countries around the world, has announced a goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Two key steps in achieving this ambitious goal include decarbonizing the power sector and switching to electricity and other low- to zero-carbon fuels. Switching to EVs will contribute to both steps, enabling the U.S. to stay on track to meeting its 2050 target.

How EV Charging Affects Utility Bills

It all begins with electricity demand. Demand is the real-time electric load of the building (or demand from the electric utility). Demand varies throughout the day as appliances and other electric loads are turned on and off. The highest demand point over the course of a month is “peak demand.” In many markets, peak demand has a substantial impact on a property owner’s utility bill. If a building’s peak demand increases when new loads are added, the utility bill can increase substantially. Installing EV charging infrastructure can add a significant additional load to a building’s electric service. If this additional load exceeds the current service, you will need to obtain an electrical service upgrade from the utility. For example, say a building has a service level of 500kW with historical load of 300kW. If you add 400kW of new load in the form of EV charging infrastructure, the total load (700kW) now exceeds the 500kW service and you will need to upgrade to meet or exceed your new service capacity. This can be very costly.

Property owners can stay below baseline peak demand AND avoid service upgrade charges when adding EV charging to their buildings by using energy management in conjunction with a flexible and dynamic EV charging system – like Atom Power’s PURPL EV charging infrastructure.