Because of lower fuel costs, as well as reduced maintenance and environmental impacts when compared to standard cars, plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales are growing rapidly, reports the Cooperative Research Network (CRN). From December 2010 through September 2014, Americans bought over 255,000 PEVs.

What does this mean for electric co-ops, and how will it affect their operations? Learn how from the full (only those with access) CRN report, but in a nutshell it states that electric utilities will become the “gas station” for PEVs. According to Pacific Gas & Electric Company, whose northern California territory has one of the highest electric car saturations in the U.S., a PEV charging at 240 VAC “adds at least as much load to our infrastructure as a single residence.”

According to a recent Navigant Research report, “Electric motors are as much as three times more efficient than internal combustion engines (ICEs), which makes electricity as a fuel far cheaper per mile traveled than gas or diesel. Electricity costs are also historically stable compared to volatile gas and diesel prices, which adds to the incentive for drivers.”