Within the next year or two, many vehicle manufacturers will be releasing some type of plug-in car or truck to their line up. Some of these electric vehicles will be purely electric like the Ford Focus Electric, and others will be electric hybrid combinations like the Chevy Volt.
Although current prices on electric vehicles make it nearly impossible to see any cost savings over the gasoline counterparts, if gasoline prices go up, that could change very quickly. When it does, changes will be necessary to New England's electric infrastructure.
For the long term, New England already has planning underway for upgrades to the electrical system, and creating a smart grid that allows charging of the Ford Focus Electric and other electric vehicles when the price of electricity is the cheapest."At the current rate of adoption, electric vehicles are not expected to have a noticeable effect on grid operations in the near future," says Marcia C. Blomberg, spokeswoman for ISO New England, the Holyoke-based agency that distributes virtually all the power in the six-state region.