How many Teslas will it take to crash the Los Angeles, California, grid? This thesis conducts a thought experiment to explore whether rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Los Angeles will reduce the reliability of electric power in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) service territory. Federal and state regulations are encouraging the shift to electric transportation in support of policy priorities that include reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing dependence on foreign energy sources. However, high market penetration by EVs will change the patterns of electricity use, especially in urban areas. Under some scenarios, EVs could pose a risk to the reliability and resilience of the electric grid serving these areas. To explore this issue, I developed a model that projects the impact of EVs on the peak power load in Los Angeles in 2030 under different scenarios of EV market penetration and constraints on demand for vehicle charging (e.g., time-of-day pricing). I found that even with moderate EV penetration, if vehicle charging is unconstrained, the load placed on the LADWP grid will exceed the established reserve margin in 2030. Only by adopting some form of incentives for EV drivers to shift their power demands from the normal end-of-day charging routine will the LADWP be able to maintain the reliability and resilience of the power grid. http://archive.org/details/hittingtheaccele1094563490 Civilian, Department of Homeland Security Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

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Published on 01/01/2019

Volume 2019, 2019
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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