Environment and the Grid
Alabama Power continues to lower its emissions by installing environmental controls on its existing coal units and adding new, cleaner sources of generation to its already diverse supply of generation. We continue to invest billions of dollars to produce cleaner electricity. Plug-in electric vehicles can potentially get cleaner over time as the generation of electricity gets cleaner, while gasoline or diesel engines deteriorate over time leading to higher emissions with the age of the vehicle.
Gasoline-fueled vehicles have more carbon emissions per mile than electric-powered vehicles.
The lithium-ion batteries used in PEV's contain non-toxic materials and are recyclable. The automotive and battery industries are working to develop a sustainable recycling model for these batteries.
Also, companies are looking to find 'second life' uses for the batteries. Once the lithium-ion batteries have completed their useful life in automobiles, they still maintain capacity to perform less stressful duties. Companies are working on business plans to create second life uses for these batteries, which include storing excess renewable energy as well as providing community back-up power when necessary.
Solar Vehicle Charging
Recently, the idea of driving a PEV using renewable energy has become more prominent. As wind and solar energy become more cost-effective, PEV drivers have the opportunity to utilize these resources to fuel their vehicles. Alabama Power is evaluating renewable energy generation in conjunction with stationary energy storage. This combination will allow plug-in electric vehicle owners to charge their cars on renewable energy conveniently. The results will allow us to educate plug-in electric vehicles owners on the benefits, costs, and challenges of developing a renewable charging system.
If you would like to offset the additional electricity used to fuel your vehicle, Alabama Power offers the option to purchase a Renewable Energy Rate. For more information on the rate, click here.
Please visit green energy for pricing and additional information.
The Electric Grid
Alabama Power conducted distribution studies to ensure that our lines can handle the load from vehicles. Research on typical distribution lines indicate the capacity to handle electric vehicles. Also PEVs often will charge during the night when there is excess capacity. According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report regarding Electric Vehicles, "there is an abundant supply of electricity for transportation; a 60 percent U.S. market share for PHEVs would use 7 percent to 8 percent of grid-supplied electricity in 2050."
Your vehicle manufacturer may send a request to you asking for permission to inform us of your vehicle purchase. This information helps us ensure your neighborhood transformer is prepared to deliver the electricity you'll need, especially if your neighbors choose to charge vehicles at the same time.
For additional information please visit the following sites: