If the carmakers’ vision of the future, where fleets of battery-powered cars cruise along U.S. highways and byways, is to become a reality it will require far more than just making electric cars available; drivers need to know how, when, and where they will be able to recharge their batteries, not to mention how much it’s going to cost.

The addition of an electric car to a home's electrical system is not just a new load, it's a big load — in some places doubling what a home currently consumes. And if the hybrid car market of the past several years is any indication, electric vehicles will likely be adopted first by more affluent people living in older neighborhoods. The aging electricity transmission systems found in such areas mean that electricity consumption will have to be managed efficiently so that drivers don’t overload the system and create power outages, a situation that could sour early adopters on the practicality of owning an electric car.

One proposed approach to simplify potential headaches is to enable the monitoring and management of electric car charging through centralized home energy-management systems making their way to market from Cisco, OpenPeak, SilverPAC, and others … (Scientific American)

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