Plug-In Hybrids Will Not Kill The Power Grid, Yet

There's some concern the pending crop of plug-in hybrid vehicles will put a strain on the US power grid. Relax, they're not going to sell enough of them for it to matter.

Plug-in hybrids are the next wave of hybrid wunderkinds and are poised to greatly change the way we think about fuel economy. The prospect of never using fuel in around-town trips has a great deal of appeal. However, there's been some vocal concern the US power grid is in no state to support the added load these cars will present. With the specter of the "rolling brown-outs" in California and the massive grid failure across the north east in 2004, there's some validity to the concern.

However, a study from the Electric Power Research Institute and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) titled "Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles" says there's really no need for concern because the volume is far too low. On top of that, power company officials from Detroit-area power supplier Detroit Edision as well as LA's Southern California Edison say the grid can easily handle the additional load. In LA's situation there might be some adjustments made where there will be enclaves of hippies hybrid drivers. Overall, a plug-in hybrid doesn't look much different to the grid than four or five flat screen TV's running at the same time. [Green Car Reports]