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Electric vehicle study sees opportunity for utilities

Detroit

INCREASING demand for electric vehicles in the US over the next decade will create revenue opportunities for electric utilities that invest in greater grid capacity and offer EV charging and related services, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study, by the Boston Consulting Group, assumes a significant leap in consumer demand for electric vehicles, which continue to account for only a fraction of US vehicle sales.

BCG estimates that 20 to 30 per cent of all US new car sales by 2030 will be electric or hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles. Last year, plug-in hybrids and pure EVs accounted for just 2 per cent of total US car sales, according to the website InsideEVs.com.

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BCG predicted that up to 12 per cent of all vehicles on US roads will be plug-in hybrid or pure electric by 2030, stretching "the capacity of the current grid" when charging in certain locations or at certain times of day. The study's authors suggested that utilities consider expanding their range of services and explore such options as subscription services that impose a flat EV charging fee while providing customers with a free home charger that automatically charges a vehicle overnight and during periods of off-peak demand. REUTERS