EV Strain on Grid

Jul 14, 2022 | Ask "Z" Economist

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Summary: There are 284MM cars on the road of which ~99% are gas-powered. The push to migrate to electric vehicles (EV) is on and the Biden administration wants 40% of new car sales to be EV by 2030. We explored the pros & cons of this initiative in our last post and here we provide more detail about perhaps the most significant con which is the inability of the nation’s aging electric grid to handle this proposed transition. Clearly, it would have been prudent to iron out this stumbling block before the EV goals were set!

Americans drive 14,000 miles per year on average, which equates to 4 trillion miles in total per year. With EVs averaging 3.5 miles per kWh, a full EV transition requires the generation of an additional 1.1 trillion kWh to be supplied by an electric grid that is already badly struggling under the demand of its 4.1 trillion kWh load. So how does the electrical grid come up with an additional +28% in kWh demand when the administration is currently phasing-out fossil fuels (particularly coal as we discussed here) while nuclear power is out-of-favor and solar & wind are moving at a snail’s pace? The US needs an energy renaissance, and the answer is not to reduce demand but to find cost-effective, sustainable ways to increase supply.

kWh Demand Graph

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