Pathway 2045 (3)

This is the third in a six part series.

Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2~ctm

Guest post by Rud Istvan,

The second SoCalEd component to its roadmap to decarbonization by 2045 is 75% vehicle electrification.


Thanks to the California DMV annual registration database, we can learn what that implies. There were in 2018 about 25.6 million registered automobiles, 5.3 million non-CVRA trucks (pickups, delivery vans), 0.5 million CVRA trucks (Class 7-8 diesels), and 1.8 million ‘Foreign IRP’ trucks (CVRA licensed in another state but also registered to operate in California). The total is about 33.2 million vehicles excluding trailers and motorcycles. Since it is impossible (despite Elon Musk’s TESLA fantasies) for working pickups and big trucks to be meaningfully electrified with foreseeable battery technology, the SoCalEd roadmap implicitly means virtually all automobiles (25.6/33.2=>77%) will be full electric in 2045.

That virtue signaling ‘vision’ has three highly improbable implications. First and foremost is the vehicle cost to California consumers. Second is the impact on the California grid. Third is the impact on lithium ion battery materials.

Vehicle Cost

Edmunds has the actual average 2019 US car price at about $37,000. That probably is also about correct for California. Lets compare California’s famous new common man’s electric vehicle, the TESLA Model 3. The current starting list price for the basic Model 3 is ‘only’ $39,900 (although Tesla is presently not filling any of those orders). Edmunds also notes this is lower than all other comparable electric vehicles today—even though you cannot buy one today.

But only IF the color you want is black, like Henry Ford’s Model T. IF you want a color other than black, the upcharge is $1500-$2500 depending on the color.

Now if you want a Model 3 with reasonable amenities (‘midrange’ per Edmunds) the price is about $44,000. And if you want the Edmunds recommended ‘loaded’ Model 3 (meaning with an extended range battery giving 50 more miles per charge) the price is about $57,000. Kelley Blue Book reports the present actual Model 3 price is about $50,000, so about half midrange and half loaded.

That means that SoCalEd plans ALL California car buyers to be willing and able to shell out about (50-37) $13,000 more per car. Probably not going to happen unless California makes it illegal to operate non-electrified vehicles. They may be crazy enough to try it.

Grid Impact

California’s duck curve illustrates the intractable grid problem.


The duck curve is simply the comparison between generation and demand. Renewable generation peaks mid-day thanks to California solar, while demand peaks in the early evening as people return home, crank up the AC, and cook dinner. It is called a duck curve because it always was and always will be shaped like a duck waddling to the right as the day progresses.

That is an electrified vehicle problem that SoCalEd cannot solve by decarbonizing electricity (post two in the series). Cars take people to work and shopping during the day. Electrified vehicles will mostly be recharged at night while their owners sleep, during ‘duckbill’ and ducktail’ time. All the expensive SoCalEd desert Ivanpah and equivalent solar capacity is useless for vehicle electrification.

And California nixed the Eagle Crest pumped storage project, the only realistic way to time shift its solar generation. (See essay California Dreaming at Climate Etc or in ebook Blowing Smoke for details.)

There is another big grid issue worth pointing out. There are large required upgrades to grid infrastructure to support the additional electrical loads of ~25 million electric cars. It is possible to range the magnitude of this problem. The average California household presently consumes about 6500 KWh per year, or about 18 KWh/day. The current Tesla Model 3 ‘fast charger’ (240V) uses about 17.2KWh per 50 miles of charge. So IF Californians only drove 50 miles per day (they don’t, it is more) then the grid infrastructure ONLY has to double by 2045. That is VERY unlikely.

Minerals Impact

More than 25 million electrified California vehicles mean one heck of a lot of lithium ion batteries. These require lithium. The automotive ones like Tesla also require cobalt for the cathodes. There just isn’t that much lithium and cobalt available, at least not without drastic price increases to utilize lower grade ores and brines. This is a subject much debated elsewhere. Since not an expert on minerals and mining, perhaps other WUWT folks can contribute more information on this last point.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TG McCoy
November 11, 2019 2:13 pm

for this kind of new age hookah dream-YOU NEED NUKES_LOTS OF THEM.

Reply to  TG McCoy
November 11, 2019 4:01 pm

This Potato-Power concept is at least as credible as the catastrophic anthropoblabla global warming (CAGW) hypothesis.

The Precautionary Principle says we must abandon fossil fuels immediately and adopt Potato-Power.

“The science is settled!!!”

Bryan A
November 11, 2019 6:04 pm

The only “Green” solution to the production/demand “Duck Curve” issue would require even more batteries (for in garage EV recharging) and solar rooftops to recharge them off peak.

Reply to  Bryan A
November 11, 2019 7:39 pm

The key problem with grid-connected wind power is intermittency, and the resulting lack of predictable, dispatchable power that is the primary requirement for grid electricity.

I have heard and read many energy neophytes say that grid-scale storage is the solution – and they act like it actually exists! In practical terms, it does not – except for a few rare cases where pumped storage is feasible – it requires a large water reservoir at the bottom of the hydroelectric dam, as well as at the top – this is rare.

So I would like to announce that I have invented a SOLUTION:

It consists of millions of huge flywheels that are wound up by wind power while the wind blows, and then the power is released back into the grid by tapping power from the rotating flywheels. For longer periods when the wind does not blow, the flywheels are spun by great herds of unicorns, galloping round and round at great speed. Once we have solved the unicorn-supply challenge we are sure to have a green energy winner!

[I suppose I must say “Sarc/off” for the warmists out there, who tend to believe ANYTHING!]

November 11, 2019 10:41 pm

Comments from 2012 on a super-battery :

Electric cars are now appearing in the marketplace, and they may succeed or fail, but there is no need for them to have the same range as a gas vehicle – most people seldom use the full range of their gasoline vehicles, instead using their cars almost exclusively for short daily commutes to and from work.

The key to using all these electric cars in a ‘super-battery” is that this application is essentially free (secondary use of the resource), which means that your economic argument about the high cost of batteries does not have much traction.

I still see great practical obstacles for the “super-battery” concept, and I use the term broadly, to include batteries, capacitors, recycled hydroelectric power, or whatever, and I doubt that a super-battery will become a practical reality in the next twenty years.

In conclusion:

Wind power is still an energy dog. I wrote this conclusion, with confidence, in newspaper articles in 2002 and 2003. A decade later, this energy dog still has fleas. Even if we overcome the fatal flaws of wind power’s highly intermittent power generation profile through the use of a “super-battery”, there is still the serious problem of bird and bat kill.

Grid-connected wind power is uneconomic and anti-environmental.

Stephen Richards
November 12, 2019 1:13 am

:)) :)))

Bryan A
November 12, 2019 5:39 am

Careful Allan, you might give the Klimate Gestapo an idea of potential punishment for perceived Klimate Krimes

Jim C
November 12, 2019 5:43 pm

Hmmm. If people charged their cars once they got to work, wouldn’t this get round the “duck” problem?

In theory, you could incentivise people to buy electricity (for unattended, non time critical tasks like car charging, dish washing, laundry) when it’s cheapest by using smart meters. These would need to have some “intelligence” built into them – you don’t want them all switching on at once, for obvious reasons. Or utilities could broadcast different prices to different areas at different times so the grid wasn’t overloaded.

TG McCoy
November 11, 2019 6:15 pm

Probably grown in the Hanford area…;-)

Reply to  TG McCoy
November 11, 2019 6:58 pm

California’s mandated renewables amplify the Duck Curve and cause a major reduction in conventional power and consequently greater cycling harm.

4 Eyes
November 11, 2019 2:15 pm

I’ve never seen a renewables and EV activist or Musk himself discuss these rather important numbers say on TV or Youtube with someone other than a compliant interviewer. Has anyone else? Or is this forbidden territory for them?

Reply to  4 Eyes
November 11, 2019 2:38 pm

They believe that if you ignore bad news long enough, it will go away.

Reply to  MarkW
November 11, 2019 3:21 pm

That’s called “magical thinking”. And yes, that’s exactly what the Greenies do. If it has no good answer today, then just chuck it over the proverbial fence. Magic in the future will doubtless come up with the solution that was — again, proverbially — sitting right under some unsuspecting genius’s nose. Right?

Reply to  MarkW
November 11, 2019 3:32 pm

There’s also blind faith that technology will somehow rescue our bacon. Where breakthroughs are required, such blind faith is suicidal.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  commieBob
November 13, 2019 8:18 am

Interestingly though, the solution to the global warming hypothetical catastrophe cannot be left to the same blind faith in future technology. Instead, it is an immediate problem and can only be solved by global application of socialism…

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  commieBob
November 22, 2019 5:31 am

commieBob November 11, 2019 at 3:32 pm

There’s also blind faith that technology will somehow rescue our bacon. Where breakthroughs are required, such blind faith is suicidal.

blind faith, “displacement activities”

as with mau mau uprising:

Burn the huts and slaughter the cattle so the only way left is forward!

Reply to  4 Eyes
November 11, 2019 4:12 pm

I’ve never seen anyone mention all the millions of people….associated with petroleum…that will be out of work

…as Warren says..they will have to transition to other jobs

Reply to  Latitude
November 11, 2019 6:05 pm

The Democrats are as guilty as the Republicans of sending American jobs to Asia. The result is the forgotten people who couldn’t transition to other jobs. The Democrats, apparently, don’t learn from their mistakes.

Reply to  commieBob
November 11, 2019 7:03 pm

Nobody is sending jobs anywhere. Especially not politicians.
Companies are looking for the lowest cost solution because that’s what the customers demand.

Reply to  MarkW
November 13, 2019 2:44 pm

Globalization is a political decision. President Trump doesn’t think globalization is an unfettered good. link

I’m not a big fan of the idea that people can’t freely flow across borders but money and goods can. It has been said that the living conditions in the third world have been raised at the expense of American workers.

Bryan A
Reply to  Latitude
November 11, 2019 6:08 pm

Solar and wind do create jobs as it takes 10 times the workforce to manufacture, transport, install and maintain them in good working order as it does for an equivalent amount of Fossil Sourced energy.

November 11, 2019 2:25 pm

With the trifecta of higher taxes, higher electricity, higher gas prices hitting the middle-class in California particularly hard, there won’t be that many left by 2045. And with the California middle-class gutted, who will pay the taxes to finance the public unions retirement funds? The uber rich, or what’s left of it, because they’ll be fleeing too.
But not to worry, CalPERS and CalSTRS are heavily invested into the renewable scam across the country banking on a fat ROI on the backs of the middle class electricity bills in all the other states.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 3:08 pm

Decarbonize California by 2045.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  n.n
November 11, 2019 3:47 pm

‘Decarbonize California by 2045.’

I love it. In a short four-word sentence, n.n tells us how to execute malicious compliance with the California decarbonization law. Outstanding! The KISS principle just doesn’t get any better than this.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 3:40 pm

I think the answer is … “California is fostering a well-heeled upper middle class”, fueled in part by the extraordinary technology-engineering-medicine boom here. Which has so danged many “professionals” working at rather eye-opening wages, that the rather extraordinarily overpriced real-estate continues to hold-and-increase value year, over year.

The “real middle class” — workaday folk who power all sorts of small business, education, clerical, front-line banking, and sundry medical-institute staffing — this middle class with its less-than-$40,000 a year income (household!) is not doing very well in California at all.

Yet … in my part of the East Bay, we have no fewer Hispanics living in the barios of East Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward, Fremont, Union City, and San Jose as we ever have. Not all of them are making $70,000 or more and living in tony gated communities, you know?

I, being on a very limited and fixed income along with my wife, have come to struggle to “just make it work” financially every month. We don’t go to the Big Markets — they’re preposterous rip-offs — and we don’t buy anything on Amazon (again, almost always a rip-off), or for that matter all the ‘tony-white-middle-class’ stores like Target, Sprouts, Whole Foods, or all the ‘glam food’ outlets in San Francisco, Palo Alto and so on. We go to a place called “Food Source”, which is very well stocked, and pleasantly discounted without ‘cheating’. 50¢/lb for flour, sugar; 70¢/lb for good rice. 33¢/lb for onions, seasonally variable. Seriously… good prices.

Still, we’re running a household of 2 adults, 2 adult children, a dog, a cat, 6 goats and a dozen chickens. We have a little rental house on the property, and WE pay for the water for both. Needless to say … tho’ they’re nice neighbors, they’re not particularly inclined to keep the water bill down. No penalty, no self-policing.

So… the utilities exceed $500/mo. Which is near nigh preposterous. I’ve cut our food budget — admitting to still wanting to entertain guests fairly often — to less than $1,000 a month. It can be done. I’ve become an expert at using the InstantPot to turn a tough old piece of cowhide into a perfectly delicious pot-roast. Tender and flavorful.

Still, this comment isn’t about fluffing our own feathers, but rather to note that the rising prices of everything “nominally upper-middle-class” has really hurt any household whose bread-winners aren’t high on the socio-economic-rewards scale, or who don’t have substantial accumulated wealth or rental properties. Our rental helps, a lot. But… between the bills, the bills, the mortgage and the bills, every month is increasingly tight. Kinda sucks, actually.

I fear too that this is an inevitability in California: either pricing out everyone who spent a lifetime working, earning, supporting, modestly saving … or simply even those with only the potential for run-of-the-mill kinds of work. Which is really kind of sobering. Sobering when a society becomes so lofty that it cannot afford to house the clerks, teachers, run-of-the-civilization people, and forces them to move far, far from their workplaces. Adding “commute hardship” on top of already financially strained lives.

Just Saying,
GoatGuy ✓

mike the morlock
Reply to  GoatGuy
November 11, 2019 4:48 pm

GoatGuy November 11, 2019 at 3:40 pm

6 goats and a dozen chickens.
Do you make your own cheese and use the milk? We have 4 chickens and get enough eggs for the four of us and my wife’s Mom&Dad. Can’t sell them except privately – to much regulations.
I figure you have the same limitations.
These fools have no understanding.


Roger Knights
Reply to  GoatGuy
November 13, 2019 2:00 pm

” I’ve become an expert at using the InstantPot to turn a tough old piece of cowhide into a perfectly delicious pot-roast. Tender and flavorful.”

I’ve been buying “stew meat” at about half the price of fancier cuts and using my Instant Pot to make it edible.

November 11, 2019 2:29 pm

I remember seeing a post on twitter that tesla is complaining about the lack of lithium, and that California isn’t going to allow mining in any part of the state.

If California cannot build/power so many millions of EVs, how will the rest of the usa, Europe, japan etc etc? Solar and wind is a gimmick, but in the real world I’ve yet to see it work (during the day or windy days doesn’t count lol)

Andrew Burnette
November 11, 2019 2:29 pm

Forgot about (just off-the-top):
– Timing of turning-over the existing gasoline and diesel fleet. Average vehicle life-time is 10-ish years, so it will need to begin in earnest starting about 10 years from now. In 15-years, 100% of new car sales will have to be electric.
– Getting rid of the idled infrastructure having to do with gasoline and diesel. Huge haz-mat, demolition and restoration issues.
– Retro-fitting all of the fast car chargers into garages.
– Providing access to chargers for folks who don’t have a garage in which to charge their car every night.
– Dealing with commercial gasoline and diesel vehicles from out of state (there are interstate commerce issues that will need to be resolved).
– Dealing with out-of-state tourists who want to use their own vehicles.
What have I forgotten? So many more!

nw sage
Reply to  Andrew Burnette
November 11, 2019 6:20 pm

On your last point – tourists (or visiting relatives). These CANNOT be allowed simply because there will be no way to refuel.

November 11, 2019 2:38 pm

As conventional ICE powered cars become harder to acquire, the sale of ICE pickups will only accelerate.

November 11, 2019 2:40 pm

A blatant “no car on the road allowed that is non EV” by a certain date just isn’t possible for numerous reasons already mentioned but a another one is California doesn’t have public transportation capable of serving its’ huge population sprawl. Shuffling 40 million people within cities is a monumental task but bringing many of those people to the transportation access points would be a real challenge.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  markl
November 11, 2019 4:10 pm

Lets see now.

25.6 million registered automobiles. So that’s probably 6.4 million vehicles traveling to work every day. Lets say each vehicle is a sole occupant, and well stuff each of them efficiently into a 40 seat bus. That’s absolute minimum 160,000 busses taking people from home to work each morning and afternoon. (assuming 9 to 5 work days only).

Reality of pickup and destination routes means the number of busses would need to be multiplied by at least 20 to 50 just to cover the pickups and destinations. Not including start and finish times for workers.

Short answer; buy bonds in bus manufacturing companies.

November 11, 2019 2:43 pm

WUWT needs to assign articles about electric cars to writers who know what the EV situation is and will be shortly.
” Since it is impossible (despite Elon Musk’s TESLA fantasies) for working pickups and big trucks to be meaningfully electrified with foreseeable battery technology, ”
This demonstrates a high degree of pure ignorance. Not only Tesla, but Ford and Rivian and half a dozen other automakers are very clsoe to putting not ony “working pickups” in their showrooms, but Tesla and Mercedes and other are close to rollout of tractor trailer sized vehicles that are looking very attractive to companies that run shipping fleets – Walmart and a host of other company’s have already placed orders. As for EV prices, VW will introduce low cost EVs in the next year that start below $20,000. And battery prices, which is the ONLY reason EVs cost somewhat more than gas powered cars, continue to fall. Practically EVERY automaker has announced plans to build an all electric fleet – Volvo will end production of gas powered cars this year and GM will go all electric within 4 years. As for the need for electricity for EVs, generally a grid can provide all that EVs require by utilizing current over capacity that occurs at night, when the majority of EVs will be recharging.

Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 2:52 pm

Translation: We need more articles by the party faithful.
Anyone who thinks major automakers are going to stop making ICE cars in the near future clearly has no connection with any form of reality known to science.

As to charging, what about the half or more of people who don’t have a place to charge their electric toys?

Reply to  MarkW
November 11, 2019 5:41 pm

Check out what a hassle it is to charge at public places in a city that has lots of charge points – Boulder, CO. Couple of observations: You have to have a smart phone, and if it’s raining you get wet (unlike gas stations).

Jim C
Reply to  icisil
November 12, 2019 5:56 pm

Our beloved overlords may stop subsidising EVs, but that doesn’t mean they won’t start taxing gasoline and ICs more – a LOT more. They’ll tell the burgeoning neo-poor that the money will go to them and they’ll get the votes that way – by taxing the evil CARbon emitters.

I’m amazed so many people here don’t really “get it”. They’ll just tax you into compliance.

Big business will get waivers or buy IC vehicle “licenses”.

Your inability to understand how government works astounds me. They do what they want. It may take a while, but in the end, the frog doesn’t notice the water he’s sitting in is getting hotter.

Gunga Din
Reply to  MarkW
November 11, 2019 6:43 pm

Hardly a lightening strike by Colonial Mosby.
When lightening strikes, you see it before you hear it.
He seems to have that backwards.
He’s heard about all kinds of good stuff about EV’s but none of it has “struck” yet.

Reply to  Gunga Din
November 13, 2019 2:29 pm


A C Osborn
Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 3:24 pm

Everywhere that the EV Subsidy has been abolished the sales of EVs has fallen dramatically.
Even the Chinese have big problems.

Dennis G Sandberg
Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 3:25 pm

ColMosby/ a grid can provide all that EVs require by utilizing current over capacity that occurs at night, when the majority of EVs will be recharging? And as you know wind power is no longer PC so the charging source will be with solar at night. Good luck with that. Conventional power has surplus night time capacity but that’s all going to be gone “soon” (supposedly).

Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
November 11, 2019 6:11 pm

Careful! Remember some enterprising Spaniards developed a way of using their solar panels at night. They just used diesel generators to power the lights. So it can be done.

Kalifornia is host to the city (Mission Viejo) that almost outlawed DHMO. Anything is possible there. They have some of the dumbest politicians liberal money can buy.

Andrew Burnette
Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 3:33 pm

The author’s statement was true for most commercial vehicles. There are some niches that could be electrified (non-refrigerated short-haul delivery, short drayage, low payloads, etc.). But the majority will require the payloads and distances enable by liquid fuels.

Please don’t say there could be enough renewable fuels produced to fill the need at net CO2 emissions the same as battery-electric. The enviros will never allow it.

Reply to  Andrew Burnette
November 12, 2019 12:41 am

In London some breweries and shops use horse power to pull their delivery vehicles. Easy refueling via a nosebag, but the fertiliser produced from the real r end might cause problems, although they could use it to grow their own fuel, oats.

Reply to  StephenP
November 12, 2019 3:36 am

That was 150 years ago.

Reply to  Hivemind
November 12, 2019 1:11 pm

There are still a couple of breweries [Fullers is one, IIRC] that still do use horses.
I suspect that publicity/tourism may also enter into their thoughts.
Nothing wrong with that, I suggest.
But the City of London is ‘the Square Mile’, thus the horses will not be exhausted by long journeys; so I guess it is worth it still, in 2019.


Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 4:12 pm

“Volvo will end production of gas powered cars this year”

I live in Sweden and do not have that info. It would also surprise me, that would be the same as closing Volvo, and mid and northern Sweden is very rural with bloody cold winters and few fuel stations and way too few charging facilities.
Volvo is also selling to Canada. It is suicide to drive out into the countryside during winter in northern Scandinavia, Canada, Alaska and Siberia in a today’s battery car!

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 11, 2019 7:59 pm

Driving in the wilderness in Winter is challenging enough with a well-fueled ICE vehicle. In case of breakdown or sliding off the road, bring extra clothes, blankets, candles, matches, ax or saw, cell phone, etc. You can easily freeze to death in a few hours.

Driving an EV in wilderness Winter = Darwin Award!

Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 4:30 pm

“generally a grid can provide all that EVs require by utilizing current over capacity that occurs at night,”

..go back and read the part about decarbonizing

Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 4:36 pm

As for EV prices, VW will introduce low cost EVs in the next year that start below $20,000. And battery prices, which is the ONLY reason EVs cost somewhat more than gas powered cars, continue to fall. …

…you will never see my happywhiteass in one of those self igniting tin coffins

Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 5:15 pm

CoMo, really? Volvo will end production of gas powered cars this year? You haven’t kept up with the failure of EV technology to produce suitable replacement vehicles. Here’s the schedule now:

“The company, owned by Chinese auto giant Geely, plans to introduce one fully electric vehicle each year through 2025 and a number of plug-in hybrids, which are able to run solely on electricity for a few dozen miles before power switches to internal combustion.

Volvo said it will phase out vehicles that run solely on gasoline or diesel fuel by 2025. In 2020, the company said, 20% of its vehicle sales will be that of plug-ins. By 2025, the company said, half of its vehicles sold will be fully electric, the other half plug-in hybrids and standard hybrids.”

Now let’s wait to see what they say in 2024, if they are still in business.

mike the morlock
Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 5:35 pm

ColMosby November 11, 2019 at 2:43 pm
WUWT needs to assign articles about electric cars to writers who know what the EV situation is and will be shortly.
Ok, EV of 59-100% is DOA. Factories do not maintain idle capacity/ Read that once twice three times.

They would have to make the molds, and tooling dies. Lots of them. There are no idle Machining centers to build them on. They have to be made in the factories that make machine tools. Remember that bit about idle machine time -beginning to get the idea? First they have to build the machines to build the machines.

This the same all through the pipeline. All those chargers, you now build a few thousand a year if that. You can’t ramp up over night to making 100s of thousands.
Who will install them? There are a limited number of skilled electricians, we don’t train all that many so you would have to use unskilled. Hmm ColMosby maybe we could have you do the installs; see what happens.

Oh yeah Col I am a retired tool & die and mold maker. You have vast gaps in your knowledge to industrial processes
We live in a on time industrial world where materials, sub assemblies arrive the same day as they are used. Just to expand a assembly line you need floor space. Have fun.

Reply to  ColMosby
November 11, 2019 7:07 pm

Recharging a 100% EV fleet over night would require more power than the grid currently provides even at max output.
Obviously leaving nothing for lights and TVs.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  ColMosby
November 12, 2019 11:04 am

I don’t know if you are being intentionally deceptive or are just ignorant, but I’ll try to help you out here.

The “$20,000” VW EV will be the size of a Smartcar, hardly suitable for a family that can only afford a single vehicle. The larger sedans will be much more expensive.

Your assertion that the grid will not need to be expanded is patently false. Did you even look at the chart that the OP posted? It clearly shows that overnight time loads are quite high, well over %50 of peak. Doubling the demand at night (which will happen if this plan is implemented) will push the overnight loads well above the current peak. The peak demand will also go up as people get home and plug in those EVs. It doesn’t help that all the solar production goes to zero at night (makes the grid storage problem even more intractable).

In order to electrify just California’s car fleet, EV (and battery) production will have to increase by at least an order of magnitude. That will quickly exhaust the current supplies of lithium and cobalt. There is more available, but are you OK with the opening of mines all over the world to extract the needed amounts? We are talking huge operations with lots of potential environmental impacts.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 13, 2019 3:12 pm

I am curious, would recycling used EV batteries actually become a profitable business? This assumes a reasonable extraction & recovery process is devised, it one has not been already.

Many scientists and academics jumped on the CAGW bandwagon for grant money… If this train shows no sign of slowing, one could jump onto battery recycling and make a virtue-signaled pretty penny.

Roger Knights
Reply to  ColMosby
November 13, 2019 2:09 pm

“Not only Tesla, but Ford and Rivian and half a dozen other automakers are very clsoe to putting not ony “working pickups” in their showrooms, but Tesla and Mercedes and other are close to rollout of tractor trailer sized vehicles”

Persons who’ve seen Tesla’s prototype pickup say it has only a half-bed—that’s not a “working” pickup.” Its “semi” is, according to the last I heard from the company, “on the back burner.”

November 11, 2019 2:52 pm

> The average California household presently consumes about 6500 KWh per year, or about 18 KWh/day. The current Tesla Model 3 ‘fast charger’ (240V) uses about 17.2KWh per 50 miles of charge. So IF Californians only drove 50 miles per day (they don’t, it is more) then the grid infrastructure ONLY has to double by 2045.

That’s just for personal vehicles. Minor correction that changes the math but not the point follows. AVT in CA is just under 100 miles. Quadrupling the grid is not enough after losses and peak demand capacity is addressed.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 11, 2019 3:06 pm


There are other issues with large scale vehicle electrification.

1) charging stations for multi-family dwellings — not everyone has a garage with a 240 V feed. Your typical 30-60 unit apartment building simply could not bring enough power in to charge ~1.5 vehicles/apartment if all of them wanted to charge the same evening. Shades of “even/odd” gas rationing! And then there are many neighborhoods where people park their cars on the street.

2) public charging stations (super-charging). I recently calculated that the metro Atlanta area has more fueling spouts than there are public super charging ports in the entire world. Considering it takes at least 10 times as long to charge an EV to full range as it does to fill a fuel tank, a whole pile of fast charging stations need to be built and supplied with power (and 10x is extremely optimistic; 20x is probably a lot closer to reality).

3) Vehicle replacement schedule. Long gone are the days when people traded in their old cars for new ones after two or three years. The average age of US automobiles on the road is already approaching 12 years and anything which causes the cost of new vehicles to rise (or become less desirable for any reason) will increase that. According to this reference, vehicle sales in California exceeded 2 million in 2018 (lead by light trucks and SUVs!). Given your base of 25.6 registered CA automobiles, even if all sales were EVs starting Jan 2020, it would still be almost 10 years before you could reach that 75% electrification goal (77% of automobiles). If only half of new automobiles were EVs, you’re looking at 2039. Considering EVs currently amount to barely 2% of new US vehicle sales for all makers, EV sales need to ramp up very quickly to have any chance of reaching 77%. Certainly will not happen within 12 years when we’re all doomed anyway according to Ms. Thunberg[1].

But anything which increases the cost of new vehicles or makes them less desirable in some way, acts as an incentive to keep older vehicles on the road longer. So we’re back to either offering substantial subsidies for EVs in one form or another, or heavily penalizing or outright banning IC vehicles. The first has to be funded some way and the second will be very unpopular, even in California.

[1] Actually I agree (sort of) with Greta on one thing: we are experiencing a mass extinction event, but it’s of brain cells rather than species, and CO2-phobia is likely the cause. More research is needed.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 11, 2019 3:36 pm

…and then there’s that small self igniting problem…that burns your entire house down

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 11, 2019 3:54 pm

Alan Watt sez:
“Actually I agree (sort of) with Greta on one thing: we are experiencing a mass extinction event, but it’s of brain cells rather than species, and CO2-phobia is likely the cause. More research is needed.”

Brain cells of the leftists only, starting with the DDT scare in the early 1960s.

It’s been downhill from there: Acid rain, Hole in the ozone layer, Global cooling, GMO foods, Vaccines, and exploding Silicone Bre-ast Implants (I’ve probably missed many more).

Scientists say people living in California lose one IQ point per year, until they start wearing tin-foil hats and start living on the streets.

The rest of us are okay.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 11, 2019 4:42 pm

All true. I try to keep my WUWT posts really simple.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 11, 2019 7:30 pm

And I’m grateful for the time you spend putting these posts together.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 11, 2019 4:44 pm

1) Think about all the vandals/kids running around at night unplugging cars, or stealing the expensive charging cables for the copper.

mike the morlock
Reply to  icisil
November 11, 2019 5:46 pm

icisil November 11, 2019 at 4:44 pm
Need a new battery pack? Come see us at “Midnight Auto Supply” (a subsidiary of “Thugs are Us”)


Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 11, 2019 6:23 pm

I think you nail it when you compare liquid ‘fueling spouts’ to ev charging ports. Look at the thousands of pumps at the hundreds of gas stations in any metro area. If they weren’t producing profits, there would be fewer of them. Then adjust for the charging time vs refueling time. Two hours vs five minutes? You would need to multiple the ports by a factor of 24 to provide equivalent service. How many hours are YOU willing to spend waiting in line to recharge? In the US, there are about 168,000 gas stations, say 8 pumps per station, or 1,344,000 pumps. You need over 33 million charging ports to replace that level of service, conservatively.

Then there’s an economic problem hidden in all this: service stations will be spending millions for the upgrades. and need larger stations to service the SAME number of vehicles today. Their ‘fuel’ costs will be less, but they’ll need to jack up their prices to pay for those added expenditures. Don’t expect to save much over the cost of gasoline.

Proponents will argue, “but people will be charging at home.” Without handing a thousand or so dollars to an electrician, most people will have only a 30 amp circuit to use; 3600 kW per hour. That’s not going to work – then there’s that SECOND car in your garage.

OK, so you spring for an expensive fast-charger. Fine, until you move. There are a lot of houses. It will be a long time before many are equipped with chargers. More expense.

When you factor in all the variables, including commercial needs, rental vehicles, tourists, etc, there will be a need for millions of public charging points in the US. And existing gas stations will require more space to service the same number of vehicles as they do today with gas pumps.

This has the makings of a hugely expensive cluster§bleep§.

Ian Magness
November 11, 2019 3:08 pm

“Volvo will end production of gas powered cars this year”
Nope! You will still be able to order petrol/gas powered Volvos for the foreseeable future as production of the array of relatively recently designed Volvo models continues apace. The latest generation of petrol powered and hybrid Volvos is very popular in the UK – can’t speak for the US. Diesel Volvos, in contrast, are being phased out here and the commitment is to design new Volvo EVs for future generations of their vehicles. Personally, I wouldn’t bet on all the present Volvo technology going to waste and petrol powered Volvos stopping production but we’ll see.
Is the rest of your text accurate ColMosby?

Alex Cruickshank
November 11, 2019 3:16 pm

I think an important shift in thinking will be to charging at work for the bulk of vehicles. Car parking stations will be outfitted to charge cars and some surplus energy could be used at home. This would reduce the “belly” of the duck and possibly lower the “bill”.
While charging would still be done at home, this would be top up and weekend (where the charging would be more even.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Alex Cruickshank
November 12, 2019 11:14 am

We have 200 employees where I work. There is no way the company could afford the upgrades to provide 200 charging stations. I suppose they could charge the employees for them, but it would take a long time to get that investment back. Another, even bigger issue, is getting that amount of electricity service in here. I know the local infrastructure would not support it without massive upgrades. Who will pay for that and how long would that take? I suppose if you spread it out over 100 years it’s not too bad, but a decade or two? No way, no how.

Tom Matkin
November 11, 2019 3:28 pm

What about power blackouts now common in California? It’s one thing to have no lights, air conditioning, and all the normal conveniences of electricity, but not be able to charge your vehicle could be more than inconvenient. It could be dangerous.

William Astley
Reply to  Tom Matkin
November 11, 2019 4:12 pm

Sure, if there are long term electrical power blackouts, electric vehicles will become paper weights.

I see very angry Californians leaving California to move to reality states where the taxes are lower and there are no government created crises.

The electrical grid infrastructure will not be able to deliver the energy to individual houses to charge the electric cars…

… the electrical grid will not be able to supply the increase power to power the electric cars..

And electricity will be shockingly expensive… when it is available.

Coeur de Lion
November 11, 2019 3:42 pm

Not in Bangladesh

November 11, 2019 3:46 pm

Here in southeastern Michigan, EVs charging with electricity from DTE Energy are 64% “coal cars” because that’s where DTE electricity comes from.

I know we are about double the national average, but there’s still lots of coal being used in the US for charging the batteries of coal cars, er, I mean EVs.

MANY COSTS of the Green New Ordeal seem to be missing from cost calculations:
— Safe disposal of the EV batteries after their service life,

— Electric utilities will still owe money on fossil fuel power plants that will no longer be needed, or only needed part time, so there will be depreciation of those assets, and

— Depreciation of the value of all fossil fuel powered vehicles when taxes are hiked on gasoline and diesel fuel to cut their use, as in Europe.

— A significant loss of employment in the auto manufacturing industry because EVs have fewer parts and require fewer assembly hours than gasoline powered vehicles.

— Incredible EV fires after some collisions, that will be more deadly, and more common, than gasoline powered vehicle fires after collisions.

— And most important — opportunity cost — what better uses of money are there, other than “decarbonizing”, that will provide more benefits to society, which I imagine would be just about anything.

Here in southeastern Michigan, we are nearing the end of a really cold year — the unusual cold actually started in mid-December 2018.

There are many inches of snow on the ground today, and the weather forecast predicts under 40 degrees F. all week. That’s unusual for the first half of November, especially after 44 years of
that alleged “global warming”.

No other year since I moved here from New York, in 1977, has been so cool / cold.

I don’t need a PhD scientist to lecture me about global warming since 1975 — and I don’t need a weatherman to tell me which way the wind blows — someone please send some global warming to Michigan NOW — if no global warming shows up, the climate alarmists can take their thermometers and stick ’em where the sun don’t shine. (end of rant).

By the way, I have a patent on a new type of clean power generation: Windmills powered by natural wind, supplemented by nuclear powered fans. Anyone interested in being a business partner?

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 11, 2019 4:25 pm

-3 in Bemidji MN this morning…that is cold for November…really cold

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 11, 2019 4:56 pm

“Windmills powered by natural wind, supplemented by nuclear powered fans.”

Back in 1984 when I worked for a wind turbine factory, I was told that one day in California there was light ground frost as we had not had so much global warming yet. The farmers came up with a solution to save the crops: The turbines were forced to the grid to create a light breeze. – Not 100% sure it is true, but that was what one of my colleagues just returned from Cal told me.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 11, 2019 7:20 pm

Smaller turbines were often used to protect orange groves when the temperatures got close to freezing. I seriously doubt you could get the big turbines spinning fast enough to make a difference.
(The idea was to create turbulence that would prevent cold air from sinking to the ground.)
They would also use smudge pots that would burn diesel fuel and deliberately create lots of smoke. The smoke particles would radiate at the temperature of the air instead of the temperature of deep space and slow down the rate at which the solid objects on the ground cooled.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 11, 2019 6:39 pm

OTOH, ICE auto parts stores shuld do a booming business, as well as storage tank and gas can sales. Some people stocked up on gasoline pre-Y2k, so they already have experience with gasoline stabilizers.

And if karma works its magic, used ICE car prices will SOAR, not depreciate. They will be kept for emergencies, like when that dreaded 3AM call comes, you need to leave immediately, and your EV is still charging.

Reply to  jtom
November 13, 2019 9:16 am

How far do you have to drive during your dreaded 3am call? By 3am, assuming you went to bed by… midnight?, you would have 3 hours of ing completed. At 30 miRange/hrCharge (assuming a max 32A draw off of a 40+A breaker and assuming you brought your car home to charge dead-as-a-doornail), you would have at least 90 miles of range in your electric vehicle. It would take you about 2 seconds to disconnect the charging cord.
Is your gas tank filled? How full is it? A range of 90 miles in my ICE would require at least 4.5 gallons of gasoline in the tank, or above a quarter tank.

November 11, 2019 4:07 pm

‘The second SoCalEd component to its roadmap to decarbonization by 2045 is 75% vehicle electrification.’

Now. What’s wrong with NOW? If it’s actually important, we should do it NOW. That we can wait til 2045 says it IS NOT IMPORTANT.

If you can’t get the people today to do it, you sure as hell aren’t going to get the people 25 years out to do it. This is just STUPID!

November 11, 2019 4:13 pm

Rud Istvan, the end of your post is THE PROBLEM!! – MINERALS
CAGW advocates are promoting “unicornian” energy transition without the slightest clue about minerals. For them, things appear by spontaneous generation, such as renewable energy harvesting devices or electric cars.
It’s not just Lithium and Cobalt. It’s a bunch of elements and some very rare and with a huge impact such as Terbium, Neodymium, Dysprosium, Indium… If CAGW advocates succeed, we will have “saudade” from the golden and clean times where Oil and Natural Gas powered the society.

Reply to  JN
November 11, 2019 6:49 pm

The minerals are scarce and expensive and probably poisonous. And how long is the expected battery life? 5 years? 10 years? 1000 cycles?
Then what? You need new batteries. Even more minerals and, surprise, more expensive.
No thanks.

Reply to  JN
November 12, 2019 12:46 am

Also vast amounts of copper to provide upgraded cabling, as well as needing to upgrade electricity sub-stations as most in use now are only sufficient to provide existing area power requirements.

Another Ian
November 11, 2019 4:24 pm

This will surely help?

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into the possibility that battery defects in Tesla vehicles may have caused the cars to burst into flames.”

November 11, 2019 4:34 pm

McKinsey has a longish article that concludes …

The expected increase in EVs on the road creates a challenge for power companies. While EVs will not lead to a substantial increase in power demand by 2030, they will reshape the load curve, thus placing new strains on the grid. The suggestions offered here can help energy players overcome this challenge and effectively integrate growing numbers of EVs on the road, thus creating substantial benefits for the energy system.

Robert of Ottawa
November 11, 2019 4:42 pm

So Californians will buy their vehicles in adjacent states.

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
November 11, 2019 6:22 pm

Yes, but California won’t let them register them and they’ll crack down on out of state plates . What will happen is there will be a Cuba like grandfathering of registered ICE cars in California and they will increase in value until the EV logistics problems are solved. CA may take the approach not to renew ICE car registration or more drastically stop gasoline sales but on those due dates catastrophe will occur….. and they know it. They are counting on technology to save them but that can’t be legislated/mandated/dictated.

John F. Hultquist
November 11, 2019 5:28 pm

California Greens are aware, and folks here are not, that near the end of the table of the elements,
is the Element of Surprise?

November 11, 2019 5:30 pm

Turn the whole thing backwards. Charge cars during the day while working then drive home and plug into the grid to provide utility backup power while sleeping. Hopefully there’s enough reserve to get back to work the next day. Give everyone a day off when it rains or is cloudy.

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  Sean
November 11, 2019 8:53 pm

Almost there, use the cars to feed the grid from 4PM to 9PM and start charging again sometime after 11PM. Cars will have to be set up for fast charge as the solar surplus is 9AM to 4PM.

michael hart
November 11, 2019 6:08 pm

They’re gonna need all that Lithium for treating schizophrenia in California before they consume so much in car batteries.

November 11, 2019 8:29 pm

Detroit was. California will be Detroit.

Mad Max rising,…

John Pickens
November 12, 2019 12:15 am

I would be willing to bet that all of the CO2 emissions saved by all of the EV autos in California for the past year have been wiped out by all of the home generators run to supply power during the PGE power blackouts.

November 12, 2019 12:44 am

2 points: battery storage, especially grid scale, hits directly at the neck of that duck

secondly: why can’t you recharge at work, during the middle of the day? your car is just sitting there for 8 hours…

and if you are like some people I know you aren’t getting out of the shopping mall in under 2 hours… or longer

Jim Gorman
Reply to  griff
November 12, 2019 10:42 am

You are way out of your league here. Who is going to put the charging stations at each parking space? Who is going to pay for the electricity that they use? Who is going to pay to put in the wiring, load boxes, etc. to supply them? How are the parking lots going to expand to allow all these charging stations to be installed? They do take up space that will end up kicking some current parking out of the parking lot!

It’s really easy to sit in you chair and dream up ideas but tremendously harder to fill in the nitty gritty details that go along with them.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
November 13, 2019 10:07 am

Who says every parking space?
Can the electricity for charging and the charging units themselves not be supplied by a 3rd party?
I see an opportunity to become an EV energy supplier, rather than a huge capital increase for employers and business owners. Vehicle owners sign up with an electric supply service. They park in charger-equipped spots, swipe / login, go about their business, pay for the kWh (or time) that they use (note that this is governed by state law, not business). The supplier pays to / shares capital cost with parking lot owners (which where I live are often not the employer or business anyway), then they work out a deal for sharing the supply profit, if at all. The employer / business owner, in the end, experiences little effect from the parking upgrade, though they’ll probably tell potential employees & customers that the lot is EV-charging-equipped.
The chargers themselves are no larger than a parking meter above ground and therefore require no additional space, as you asked. [Go look at hotels that have EV parking spots.]

Griff may be a dreamer, but closed-minded ranting is just as bad. Engineering can solve a lot of the gap between Griff and the bulk of the WUWT crowd.

Rod Evans
November 12, 2019 5:24 am

The socialist agenda being advanced in California, all be it under a Green canopy of necessity has been tried before in the USA. It was explored in Detroit, once the second most prosperous city in the Union. The socialists found the perfect way of converting that amassed city wealth into rubble of zero value. They simply kept spending money on systems that had no financial benefit.
Most people with wealth fled. The result is a city with less than half its population, bankrupt and an active policy of turning real estate into native scrub land.
That is what will happen in California, unless someone steps up and calls a halt to the lunacy being pushed ever more urgently into the lives of normal people.
The people will leave, the wealth will leave, it is happening it will continue and it will accelerate. The ones left behind will be the ones without economic capacity to make good the damage.
Welcome to the socialist Detroit syndrome, State wide.

November 12, 2019 5:37 am

Electric trucks lack the range of modern diesel tractor trailers which typically can go 500 miles with one tank and 1,000 miles for a long haul truck with two tanks though drivers will stop and refuel before the get low. Commercial buses are the same. Daimler and Tesla EV truck prototypes have demonstrated a 250-300 mile range but have just begun real-world testing. They, like electric buses may work for inner city local delivery and some regional applications.

The current grid’s vulnerability to cyber attack is real and a Smart Grid offers more pathways for grid-level attacks. Besides, Russia, China, North Korea and Iran there are non-state hackers that would likem to turn the lights out.

November 12, 2019 5:41 am

Imagine the loss of value on all the ice cars, from classics to modern day 1 million dollar Lamborghini or mclarens… People will have billions of dollars of cars and spare parts doing nothing… Those who have loans on the cars will be left broke, spare part stores, manufacturing, all will close… But as warren says “they will have to transition to other jobs, unlike me, as I am a millionaire already”…. 😐. These “greens” have taken things to far, london mayor is trying to put in place a ultra low emissions zone across all of london, the small zone in the inner city is constant busy, but its the common man/woman who will suffer.

Beta Blocker
November 12, 2019 6:02 am

Sean: “Turn the whole thing backwards. Charge cars during the day while working then drive home and plug into the grid to provide utility backup power while sleeping. Hopefully there’s enough reserve to get back to work the next day. Give everyone a day off when it rains or is cloudy.”

Erik Magnuson: “Almost there, use the cars to feed the grid from 4PM to 9PM and start charging again sometime after 11PM. Cars will have to be set up for fast charge as the solar surplus is 9AM to 4PM.”

Suppose EVs and their onboard batteries became a major source of power storage capacity for use in balancing the duck curve or in stabilizing the grid. What kinds of impacts on the life of an EV battery pack would that kind of use have?

Assuming that some portion of an EV’s battery’s predicted service life is being consumed by its use in balancing the duck curve or in stabilizing the grid, is the vehicle’s owner expected to bear the additional costs of replacing the battery pack earlier than it might otherwise have to be replaced?

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  Beta Blocker
November 12, 2019 12:38 pm

That’s a legitimate concern, though the amount of power needed from each EV in this scenario is inversely proportional to the number of EV’s connected to the grid. Assuming all of the “25 million” EV’s projected for Calif in 2045 are connected to the grid, I’d figure each would be supplying about 1kW during the 4 to 9PM peak demand time. This would be roughly equivalent to driving 20 miles at 4MPH, so would be a relatively mild load on the battery. (Note that this neglecting what happens during commute time). Big killer for Li-ion batteries is high temperatures at >80% charge and high charge/discharge rates.

Alexander Brook wrote a short paper on using EV’s to stabilize the grid circa 1999.

I strongly agree with Sean and a couple of other posters in that charging EV’s at work is desperately needed to keep solar generation from destabilizing the grid (pointing fingers at the Cal State government).

Martin Cropp
November 12, 2019 3:39 pm

Nice posts as usual, thanks
Two points
1- One of the key issues for distribution utilities in California currently is cleaning up, stabilizing and integrating, monitoring the alternative sources of minor “generation” from domestic etc solar and other into the network.
2 – I look forward to your estimation of increased stable generation, transmission and distribution capacity to meet the 75% threshold stated above in main post. A simple calculation would be to take 75% of all diesel, petrol and gas used for transportation. Turn that into kw of energy (average), and then you have a basic number.

Sure we have some over nite capacity now, but can the network support that, and other comments above confirm that some customers don’t have access to power point load capacity. This is when the 110/120 volt system stats to show weakness. It just was not designed for large distribution demand for the vast percentage of customers.
Regards, hope all is well with you and yours.

Solomon Green
November 14, 2019 6:01 am

Yesterday the BBC had a report that a trial had started in Spanish waters to ascertain what possible damage could ensue when deep sea mining commenced. Deep sea mining being the only possible source of the extra cobalt that will be required for all the new batteries that will be needed for electric vehicles that we have been promised.

I apologise if I have slightly misquoted but I was not paying much attention to he Boris Bashing Corporation news.

Johann Wundersamer
November 22, 2019 5:11 am
%d bloggers like this: