The Loh Down On Science

Electric Ride

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On the ride towards renewable energy, here comes a speed bump?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Solar power varies with the sun.  Wind power varies with the wind.  So, dependable energy, from these sources, requires storage.  A very popular storage solution?  Electric batteries.   

And a surprising resource for these batteries?  What about those growing numbers of . . . electric cars?

Enter researchers from the University of California, Irvine.   They wondered:  How effective are electric cars at storing, and sharing, renewable energy for the grid? 

Like most vehicles, electric cars are parked for most of the day.  They can share power when “resting,”

So the researchers created a computer simulation of California’s electrical grid to learn more.  They compared plugged-in electric car fleets to conventional big-battery storage. 

Results?  Though technically challenging, the initial idea shows promise.  Think of it: efficient, clean rides, and lots of green electrical storage for the grid!

So let’s take a trunk count.  Four bags of groceries, a spare tire, and some solar power.  Except for those car fries, very clean!


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