Americans are buying electric vehicles in record numbers, and there are worries about a strain on the electric grid.
But a new program is giving customers a cash incentive to charge their cars at night.
Michael George of CBS News, New York has the details for this week’s Steals and Deals.
Electric car sales are up nearly 50% over the past year. Cox Automotive predicts about one million EVs will be sold this year — a number that experts forecast could quadruple in the next seven years.
Max Epstein drives two electric cars: a Tesla Model 3 and a Toyota RAV.
“Going electric was doing our part for the environment, and it saved us a lot on fueling costs,” Epstein said.
But more drivers charging means a growing demand for power. One analysis predicts EVS could boost overall electric use anywhere from 8 to 13% by 2030.
Cora Walter is with the utility company Con Edison. She says those proactive moves include grid upgrades to handle demand and a new program called Smart Charge.
“As electric vehicle adoption grows, we expect to see higher demand of electricity on the grid, that means higher stress on the grid, so we really want to be proactive,” said Cor Walter.
The program earns customers money when they charge during off-peak hours — midnight to 8 a.m. — and avoid charging from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer months.
“This reduces stress on the grid as we go through this clean energy transition,” Walter said.
Epstein signed up for the program on the first day and estimates he’s already made more than $250 this year.
“It’s really easy to adjust. As long as your car is charged for your next day’s commute, your activities or errands, you’re pretty much good to go,” Epstein said.
At least eight other utility companies nationwide are using similar programs, allowing customers to help save the planet and make a few bucks at the same time.