The widespread adoption of EVs is already in progress, with the global market expected to register 40% growth by 2027, according to Precedence Research. That means millions of EVs on the road in North America. Utilities are already prepping for expanded charging infrastructure and growing loads. But — as the staggering rise in extreme weather events continues — a new challenge emerges: helping keep all drivers safe during a mass evacuation, whether their vehicles are powered by gasoline or electricity.
Over the decades, utilities have become skilled at developing emergency response plans for extreme weather events. As more of these events force mass evacuations, new realities arise as more customers are relying on EVs to get out of danger zones. Utilities should anticipate this shift by factoring in the prospect of surges in load along evacuation routes as EVs recharge. Both preventive and proactive steps will prepare utilities for their role in future public safety.