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Utilities talk about preparing for the flood of electric and plug-in vehicles to come — but are they really getting ready? According to a report from IDC Energy Insights released this week, utilities will be hard-pressed to upgrade their systems to manage the anticipated 540,000 EVs to be sold globally in 2012. IDC says advanced transformers to manage increased loads in certain neighborhoods, and perhaps separate metering systems to manage plug-in loads, may be required. It will also take collaboration between automakers and utilities — as well as potentially independent charging infrastructure players — to manage such issues as customers that live in one utility’s region, but charge their cars in another.