I would think if you were to draft a list of the top three "fear factors" impinging mass adoption of electric vehicles, it might look something like this...
  1. The battery pack pooping out miles away from home
  2. Electric shock
  3. Power outages
Trip Doggett, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (the group that oversees the state's electric grid), has updated Texas lawmakers serving on the Senate Natural Resources Committee on the potential negative impact of widespread adoption of EV on the state's electricity transmission system. A big question that worried the committee: if the numbers of EV owners shot up at some point, would the state's power grid collapse? Probably not, Doggett said.

There could be localized disruption in certain neighborhoods where EV ownership becomes popular, but it's not anything to be concerned about in the short-term future, he said. "In the long term there could be some impact to our resource adequacy challenge, but my belief is that's not a significant issue in the near term," he said to the committee.

If the electric vehicle population continues to grow, Doggett says, there is one challenge ahead: managing peak electric use hours. EV owners will need education and incentives to avoid charging during peak hours, such as a hot summer afternoon. It may not be that much of a problem in areas where time-of-use electricity rates are used, which make it a lot cheaper to charge off-peak, and if chargers come equipped with pre-programmed timers.

While Texas may not be the first place you think of when the issue of overusing the grid to charge comes up, EVs are growing in popularity in the state, especially Houston. Installing charging stations is a priority for a coalition of utilities, municipalities, Clean Cities coalitions and community groups. They'll be watching closely to see how the state's power grid can handle it.