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Electric car owners get cash for charging during off-peak hours

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Electric vehicles (EV) are more popular than ever. According to Cox Automotive, second quarter sales for EVs jumped 48% in the past year.

The group predicts about one million will be sold in 2023, a number that is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. More electric cars means more people charging those vehicles, which adds up to an increased need for electricity.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) believes overall electric use could jump anywhere from 8% – 13% by 2030.

"As electric vehicle adoption grows, we expect to see higher demand of electricity on the grid, that means higher stress on the grid, so we really want to be proactive," says Cora Walter, a project manager for the Electric Vehicle team at Con Edison, a power company in New York state.

Mitigating power use

The nation's electric grid has shown fragility at times in the past and the Federal government has slotted billions of dollars for grid improvements, but several power companies are looking for ways to mitigate power use as demand from EV's grows.

Con Edison has a new program called "Smart Charge." EV owners are rewarded if they charge during off-peak hours, which is midnight to 8:00am, they must also avoid charging from 2:00pm-6:00pm.

"This reduces stress on the grid as we go through this clean energy transition," Walter says.

Max Epstein owns two electric vehicles, a Toyota and a Tesla. He signed up for the program on the first and receives cash for only charging during off-peak hours. He estimates he's collected more than $250 so far this year.

"As long as your car is charged for your next day's commute, your activities or errands, you're pretty much good to go," Epstein says.

Con Edison built its program with a company called The group says it has worked with eight other utility companies to deliver a similar smart charging program:

    • United Illuminating Company
    • Hawaiian Electric
    • National Grid
    • National Grid
    • NYSEG
    • Rochester Gas & Electric
    • Madison Gas & Electric
    • Southern Company
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