Another challenge of this transition is upgrading distribution grids. For the most part, there’s sufficient transmission and overall generation capacity for vehicles to become all electric. But there can be issues when it comes to the distribution of this power.
“If you have a high concentration of EVs in one area, those specific distribution feeders may not have the capacity to charge everything,” Hughes said. “We see this especially in heavy duty markets like buses. In Florida specifically, there’s a real concern that there’s enough electric infrastructure for natural disasters, for those who have to evacuate or shelter in place in the event of a hurricane, because you don’t have a portable energy source in gasoline anymore.”
In addition to making sure there is necessary infrastructure and distribution grid upgrades to charge these EVs, there are developing technologies that can help in the event of emergencies.
“In the event of a hurricane, you could make bus trips to the local hospital, plug them in and make sure the emergency department is still able to operate in the event of a power outage, Hughes said. You’re essentially creating fleets of mobile energy sources that can be plugged back into grids into places that are down, or you can support community centers or microgrids. It can be a huge asset in the event of an emergency, and it’s a possible solution that electrification can give to those situations in Florida.”