Preparing for the future of electric cars

Published: Nov. 20, 2018 at 5:28 PM CST
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In the United States there are more than 750,000 electric cars on the road.

And that number is only growing.

Right here in Lincoln LES is preparing first by learning.

Lincoln Electric System is launching a first-of-its kind study, investigating charging and driving behaviors of electric vehicle owners.

As more and more people decide to plug in and charge instead of fill up, it says now is a good time to track what kind of changes this creates to its system.

"For every three vehicles, it's like putting another house on our system,” said LES, Scott Benson.

In other words, the cost to charge a car is about 1/3 of what it is to power a home.

LES says there are about 300 electric cars in the Lincoln-area.

Nearly 1/3 are participating in the study.

"The little plug in device, that actually allows us to collect the data, it's both cellular and GPS enabled,” said Benson.

The device will monitor when and where users charge, their travel and how much energy is consumed.

LES then downloads the data every month.

10/11 NOW spoke with a participant who has four Tesla's charged through LES, he says a full charge takes about an hour.

"It saves on fuel, the cost of electricity is much less than the cost of gasoline,” said EV Owner, Donald Cox.

LES will take the data collected to make projections to see what they have to do to provide the best service.

"This is data that we think is not only going to be beneficial to us, but the national renewable energy laboratory thinks it is going to be beneficial to the entire industry,” said Benson.

"They need to know what they need to do and be ready for it. Because it's coming very rapidly,” said Cox.

LES employees tell me the company is actually testing this out itself, in the next year, 3/4 of its cars will be some type of electric vehicle.

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