Electric vehicles will contribute to emissions reductions in the United States, but their charging may challenge electricity grid operations. We present a data-driven, realistic model of charging demand that captures the diverse charging behaviours of future adopters in the US Western Interconnection. We study charging control and infrastructure build-out as critical factors shaping charging load and evaluate grid impact under rapid electric vehicle adoption with a detailed economic dispatch model of 2035 generation. We find that peak net electricity demand increases by up to 25% with forecast adoption and by 50% in a stress test with full electrification. Locally optimized controls and high home charging can strain the grid. Shifting instead to uncontrolled, daytime charging can reduce storage requirements, excess non-fossil fuel generation, ramping and emissions. Our results urge policymakers to reflect generation-level impacts in utility rates and deploy charging infrastructure that promotes a shift from home to daytime charging.
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- Environmental Research Letters
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Charging infrastructure access and operation to reduce the grid impacts of deep electric vehicle adoption
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