ArcWatch: GIS News, Views, and Insights

March 2012

Keeping the Electric Vehicle Alive

By Jessica Wyland
Esri Writer

Nashville Electric Service (NES) in Tennessee tapped into Esri ArcGIS technology as it prepared for an upsurge in electric demand from owners of the Nissan Leaf. Nissan just began selling the Leaf in the Nashville area, one of its "launch markets."

If the utility infrastructure was not ready to meet increased electricity use, customers could experience power outages. Keith Brown, principal associate engineer for the NES Design Engineering, Distribution Planning Group, and NES senior engineer Carla Nelson compiled and analyzed a complex collection of data, then used ArcGIS to create Predicted Electric Vehicle Adoption maps. These maps showed where the people who were likely to purchase the electric vehicles lived.

"If people come home from work around four or five o'clock in the afternoon on a hot day, plug in their electric vehicles, and turn on their air conditioners, we have to build up the infrastructure to serve that load," Brown said. Read the article.

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Esri ArcGIS technology was used to create these heat maps, which show in red where Nashville area residents, based on criteria such as age, education, and political affiliation, were more likely to adopt electric vehicles.

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Tip of the Month

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Learn about a new way to overlay colors on hillshades that keeps your original colors and detail. Read this tip.

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ArcWatch is published monthly by Esri and contains GIS news, practical advice, and updates about the company's software and events. To submit article ideas, e-mail editor Carla Wheeler at

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