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Will electric vehicles cause strain on the Texas power grid? Experts say no

"At this time, the loads from EVS are not significant enough to have an impact on the grid,” ERCOT said in a statement.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Gas prices are expected to keep climbing, which is one reason why people are putting down the fuel pump and picking up the charging cables.

"In the next five years, we are actually going to see 50 percent of our inventory being electric, or battery, or hybrid powered," said Mike Terrazas, general sales manager for BMW Corpus Christi. "That's just what's going on in the future."

With more cars plugging in, does this mean more strain on our electric grid?

RELATED: Texas plans to place charging stations for electric cars every 50 miles on most interstates

3NEWS spoke to transportation and energy expert Kara Kockelman at the Energy Institute of the University of Texas at Austin who said that’s not a concern.

"You could turn over the entire fleet of vehicles, that's cars and trucks, in Texas tonight-- and we would be able to plug them in," Kockelman said. 

It would be about 30 percent more demand over the course of the day on a high capacity, high demand day, according to Kockelman. However, Kockelman said what we don't want to do is have everyone charge their cars at the same time.

"As long as we shift on those Summer afternoons, charging to the nighttime or the morning or midday when the sun is providing so much electricity to the Texas grid, we will be fine" Kockelman said.

Those who use electric vehicles spend one-tenth of the amount of money on travel than those who buy gas or diesel do, Kockelman said. And as for charging time, it depends on the driver’s destination.

"I have friends who plug in every night, like they would a cell phone, but I only plug in once a week", Kockelman said.

3NEWS reached out to ERCOT who sent the following statement: 

"ERCOT continues to monitor and plan for the growth of electric vehicles (EVS) in our long term system assessment reports, but at this time, the loads from EVS are not significant enough to have an impact on the grid.”

RELATED: Will your A/C stay on in Texas this summer? A state senator wishes he can promise that

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