Do Electric Cars Spell Cash Or Calamity for Utility Companies?

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New "current cruisers," the first mass-marketed plug-in electric cars, will hit the market next month. For utility companies, their arrival is cause for both excitement and anxiety. Plugged into a socket, the Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts can draw as much energy from the grid as a small house. Will the early adopters – and their neighborhoods – wind up in the dark?

Mark Duvall, director of Electric Transportation for the non-profit Electric Power Research Institute explains how utility companies are preparing the grid for the new vehicles. Also joining us is Kent Larson, director of the Changing Places Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, who talks about the future of the electric car as part of a changing urban transportation ecosystem.