It may seem counter-intuitive, but using more electricity could also be a pathway to greater energy efficiency overall as well as greater energy independence. Power plants are responsible for approximately one-third of the carbon dioxide emissions. Automobiles are responsible for approximately one-third. The more electricity substituted for gasoline in supplying energy for transportation, the fewer emissions we have to worry about, with an important caveat: The method of generating the electricity has to be much cleaner than the car exhaust. The less gasoline we consumer, the less oil we have to import from hostile or unfriendly countries. And so it goes.
The prospect of a massive transformation from gasoline-powered engines to electric vehicles promises to have the greatest impact on the electricity system as we know it. This represents a new source of demand, unlike anything the industry has seen in the last several decades. It could dramatically change the production cycle, because electric car batteries would likely be charged up overnight—during the off-peak period. Utilities love the idea of electric vehicles not only because of the increased demand, but because they would increase the efficiency and productivity of the infrastructure during that off-peak period.
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