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Idaho Power: electric vehicles, buses don't strain power grid

Electric bus
Posted at 3:27 PM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 19:48:02-04

BOISE, Idaho — With the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, several local agencies are making changes to have more eco-friendly vehicles.

New electric vehicles hit the road in Boise and Ada County a few weeks ago after Valley Regional Transit unveiled its new electric buses and the City of Boise unveiled its electric garbage truck.

Idaho Power officials say they expect electric vehicle usage in general to increase as well. Idaho Power said electric buses and other large vehicles can take a lot to charge, but are typically charged at night, lessening the strain on the local power grid.

"Usage on the grid tends to be much lower so it's a time when Idaho Power has plenty of power," said Patti Best, a senior program specialist at Idaho Power.

The Department of Energy reports, as of June there are 2,300 electric vehicles registered in Idaho. This is a lot less than California with more than 400,000 electric vehicles or Utah which has more than 11,000.

"There has been a lot of movement, both statewide, nationally and regionally, a move toward electrification," Best said.

After receiving both local and federal funding, Valley Regional Transit started converting their fleet of buses to electric vehicles. They currently have four, but are planning for more.

"We think by early 2022 we'll have 12 electric buses on the road," said Mark Carnopis, the community relations manager.