California’s Looming ‘Green New Car Wreck’

The numbers don’t pencil out for the future where just 25% of cars in California would be electric.

Governor Newsom announces major climate initiative, September 23, 2020. (Screenshot via California Gavin Newsom)

On September 23, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that will ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the Golden State by 2035. Ignoring the hard lessons of this past summer, when California’s solar- and wind-reliant electric grid underwent rolling blackouts, Newsom now adds a huge new burden to the grid in the form electric vehicle charging. If California officials follow through and enforce Newsom’s order, the result will be a green new car version of a train wreck.

Let’s run some numbers. According to Statista, there are more than 15 million vehicles registered in California. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, there are only 256,000 electric vehicles registered in the state—just 1.7 percent of all vehicles.

Using the Tesla Model3 mid-range model as a baseline for an electric car, you’ll need to use about 62 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of power to charge a standard range Model 3 battery to full capacity. It will take about eight hours to fully charge it at home using the standard Tesla NEMA 14-50 charger.

Now, let’s assume that by 2040, five years after the mandate takes effect, also assuming no major increase in the number of total vehicles, California manages to increase the number of electric vehicles to 25 percent of the total vehicles in the state. If each vehicle needs an average of 62 kilowatt-hours for a full charge, then the total charging power required daily would be 3,750,000 x 62 KWh, which equals 232,500,000 KWh, or 232.5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) daily.

Utility-scale California solar electric generation according to the puts utility-scale solar generation at about 30,000 GWh per year currently. Divide that by 365 days and we get 80 GWh/day, predicted to double, to 160 GWh /day. Even if we add homeowner rooftop solar, about half the utility-scale, at 40 GWh/day we come up to 200 GW/h per day, still 32 GWh short of the charging demand for a 25% electric car fleet in California. Even if rooftop solar doubles by 2040, we are at break-even, with 240GWh of production during the day.

Bottom-line, under the most optimistic best-case scenario, where solar operates at 100% of rated capacity (it seldom does), it would take every single bit of the 2040 utility-scale solar and rooftop capacity just to charge the cars during the day. That leaves nothing left for air conditioning, appliances, lighting, etc. It would all go to charging the cars, and that’s during the day when solar production peaks.

But there’s a much bigger problem. Even a grade-schooler can figure out that solar energy doesn’t work at night, when most electric vehicles will be charging at homes. So, where does Newsom think all this extra electric power is going to come from?

The wind? Wind power lags even further behind solar power. According to, as of 2019, California had installed just 5.9 gigawatts of wind power generating capacity. This is because you need large amounts of land for wind farms, and not every place is suitable for high-return wind power.

In 2040, to keep the lights on with 25 percent of all vehicles in California being electric, while maintaining the state mandate requiring all the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free resources by 2045, California would have to blanket the entire state with solar and wind farms. It’s an impossible scenario. And the problem of intermittent power and rolling blackouts would become much worse.

And it isn’t just me saying this. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees. In a letter sent by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to Gavin Newsom on September 28, Wheeler wrote:

“[It] begs the question of how you expect to run an electric car fleet that will come with significant increases in electricity demand, when you can’t even keep the lights on today.

“The truth is that if the state were driving 100 percent electric vehicles today, the state would be dealing with even worse power shortages than the ones that have already caused a series of otherwise preventable environmental and public health consequences.”

California’s green new car wreck looms large on the horizon. Worse, can you imagine electric car owners’ nightmares when California power companies shut off the power for safety reasons during fire season? Try evacuating in your electric car when it has a dead battery.

Gavin Newsom’s “no more gasoline cars sold by 2035” edict isn’t practical, sustainable, or sensible. But isn’t that what we’ve come to expect with any and all of these Green New Deal-lite schemes?

I acknowledge the help of Willis Eschenbach in checking the numbers for this article.

Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for environment and climate at The Heartland Institute. He is also an owner of an electric vehicle in California.

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Ed Zuiderwijk
October 2, 2020 6:13 am

It’s quite obvious what the plan is. Californians out of their cars and, presumably, on their bikes. Now who will be affected most by this implicit policy? The Hollywood elite or suburbian Joe Bloggs?

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
October 2, 2020 6:37 am

Cue up the diesel generators.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
October 2, 2020 10:10 pm

Gonna have to go back to Nu-clear Energy

George Daddis
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
October 2, 2020 7:23 am

You have forgotten “out of the suburbs” and into new high rise planned communities at nodes of the high speed rail system.
Get with the program!

Bryan A
Reply to  George Daddis
October 2, 2020 10:09 pm

Vertical Dystopia

mark from the midwest
October 2, 2020 6:13 am

Not to mention that wind tends to subside at night, so average hourly output from wind generation is going to be at a minimum when it’s needed most. Fortunately I’m not so old that I shouldn’t still be in good health and sound mind … and I love to watch a good train wreck, particulalry when it was self-inflicted.

Bryan A
Reply to  mark from the midwest
October 3, 2020 8:13 am

To make it will to will likely require that every EV sale include a home charging station and that every home EV charging station includes an 80KW Tesla Powerwall TYPE battery system to be recharged by rooftop Solar
$$$ for the car
$ for the battery EV charger
$$$ for the Rooftop Solar to recharge the charger
$50-100,000 per Car
$8-10,000 Powerwall + charger per car
$20-40,000 for the Rooftop solar
(Solar could be double that depending on multiple cars per household unless you want to buy Chinese Crap Panels)

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
October 3, 2020 8:41 am

To make it will to willwork will

Reply to  Bryan A
October 4, 2020 9:17 pm

You can see why the finance sector are behind the push to a zero-carbon economy – the average Joe will be obliged to buy this stuff on credit.

October 2, 2020 6:16 am

By 2035 the only people left in California will be those who can’t afford cars and government employees on ridiculous pensions.

mark from the midwest
Reply to  rbabcock
October 2, 2020 10:08 am

the people on government pensions will be able to move to lower cost of living states, live in a nice 3000 sq foot ranch and drive an X3 or E Series MB

October 2, 2020 6:19 am

I suspect in the future there will be far more automobiles purchased out of state than at present. And too, look for more state regulations restricting out of state purchases.

Reply to  John L. Kelly
October 2, 2020 8:27 am

Hmmm. Possible conflict with federal interstate commerce laws? Californians can drive their old ICE cars out of the state, but can’t drive them back in? Should be interesting.

Bryan A
Reply to  hiskorr
October 2, 2020 10:23 pm

Interstate trucking from Oregon also sometimes needs to pass through California to get to Nevada and Arizona

Reply to  John L. Kelly
October 2, 2020 9:18 am

They would do it through vehicle registration laws. Only permit electric vehicles to be registered.

Reply to  John L. Kelly
October 2, 2020 11:14 am

This is already happening with gasoline and many other products and luckily for those in the know, the state can’t regulate this away (they already do regulate out of state vehicle purchases).

In Truckee and Tahoe City, gas is $3.91 per gallon, but 30 miles away in Reno, it’s as low as $2.29. Even at the Gold Ranch casino/gas station in Verdi, which only is 20 miles from Truckee, it’s $2.79. Only tourists who don’t know any better by gasoline in Tahoe. Free markets work and this is happening all across the borders with other states and contributes to why the Socialists/Marxists running the state want to do away with free market capitalism.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
October 3, 2020 1:45 am

But… without free markets, how will they impose their utopia where there is no threat from GlobalClimateWarmingChange?

Ken Irwin
Reply to  John L. Kelly
October 3, 2020 6:55 am

More likely a ban on recharging electric vehicles at night-time.

October 2, 2020 6:25 am

How does he have the authority to do this?

Reply to  Joel
October 2, 2020 6:43 am

He was elected and he controls the transport laws.

Reply to  LdB
October 2, 2020 7:18 am

“He was elected and he controls the transport laws.”

He also has a Trumpian YUGE mandate to do so…

Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 9:19 am

Have you given up trying to make sense?

Javert Chip
Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2020 10:08 am


Don’t understand your snarky response to bigoilbob.

BOB isn’t claiming the survey should be the way America is managed, it simply documents how CA citizens wish (think “tooth fairy”) the world operated.

CA citizens are famous for easy virtue-signaling, and who knows if they’d really support any required “life style changes”, but CA voters absolutely, without a doubt, keep electing goofy politicians that burn the state down, impose electrical blackouts, build billions-of-dollars high-speed train (tracks) to nowhere, and raise taxes to provide this level of non-service (out of human kindness, I’ll make no snarky comments about abysmal CA school quality and union pensions required to support them).

Tom in Florida
Reply to  LdB
October 2, 2020 7:35 am

But since this is just an executive order, and he will no longer be Governor in 2035, this is all BS.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
October 2, 2020 8:14 am

Funny, but the SCOTUS ruled that TRUMP! can’t just undo Obama ex orders. A John Roberts deciding vote. Picking WHICH president has MORE “moral” authority?

Probably would be the same for Cali judges, picking WHICH Governor is the most suitable to make the decision.

Really need another “texturalist” Justice. Will have one soon.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Drake
October 2, 2020 9:43 am

Trump can ignore the SCOTUS on executive orders. In areas of Constitutional competence the president (or Congress) is the equal of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court cannot defines the president’s authority within the context of executive powers.

Michael 2
Reply to  Drake
October 3, 2020 4:15 pm

Seems to me what one President can do, the next can undo. That’s the weakness of executive orders. I concur that the Supreme Court probably has no authority in this particular instance. Now if the Executive Order is unconstitutional, the Supremes can intervene, but merely canceling an order by an order it is difficult to see how that is unconstitutional. That’s pretty much the mandate for the Supremes, decide constitutionality.

Reply to  Joel
October 2, 2020 9:20 am

Mainly because the people of CA let him.

Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 6:29 am

I don’t think it’s fair to assume that the cars will have to be fully charged every day. The Tesla Model 3 has a 322 mile range and an average commute of about 28 miles. Call it 10% per working day. Similar for running errands on the weekends makes it constant. 23.25 GWh per day.

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 6:38 am

That’s a word parsing loserthink argument similar to to one raised in the White House briefing yesterday, where the reporter demanded that Kayleigh McEnany define the difference between Trump votes being found being in a ditch or a river.

It misses the central point. The math doesn’t work.

Bryan A
Reply to  Shoshin
October 3, 2020 8:30 am

Consider that your current service places a demand of around 6-10 kVA load on your serving Transformer. A single EV charger of 60A places an additional load demand of 14.4 kVA per car at the point you plug in. Since people will be plugging in at or just after Peak Demand this will affect peak demand timing.
Figuring this x 3.7m vehicles would overtax the local distribution facilities and potentially the grid.
EVs will require Powerwall batteries and Solar Rooftop installations to be viable

Javert Chip
Reply to  Shoshin
October 3, 2020 10:23 am

As an old CFO (finely-tuned shit-detector for reviewing questionable numbers), if your first point out of the gate (amount of EV charging per day) is overstated by 400-600%, you’ve just sacrificed a lot of credibility.

Reply to  Javert Chip
October 3, 2020 4:07 pm

Off by 400 to 600 percent is good enough for goobermint work.

Michael 2
Reply to  Javert Chip
October 3, 2020 4:18 pm

“is overstated by 400-600%, you’ve just sacrificed a lot of credibility.”

Among CFO’s perhaps 🙂

The other half of the commentary is the peak draw in amps or megawatts. 60 amps added to every household at 5 pm-ish is a heavy load. That the electric cars haven’t been drained completely means this 60 amps will only operate for an hour or so rather than 8 hours.

Reply to  Michael 2
October 4, 2020 9:24 pm

No, it’s a valid point, and one I picked up on as well.

It also assumes that i) people won’t charge their cars at work, or ii) trickle charge their cars every day when they do get home.

There’s no question that Newsome’s regs are going to strain the grid, but not as much as Watt’s figures suggest.

Reply to  Javert Chip
October 12, 2020 6:10 pm

As a CFO … is not much of an argument, and %400-%600 is a large spread of the size of overstatement. In the interests of learning, what are your numbers for what the real power demand will be?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 6:43 am

This is why you dont have your friends check your data.

Julian Flood
Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 2, 2020 7:53 am

Unlike climate science then.


Reply to  Anthony Watts
October 3, 2020 6:40 am

Perhaps you or Willis could do a cross-check on the numbers? If you calculate the total energy used by the existing fleet, you can derive an independent estimate of how many Gwh the electric fleet is going to need.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Anthony Watts
October 2, 2020 3:50 pm

That would be out of character.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 2, 2020 11:25 am

Steven Mosher October 2, 2020 at 6:43 am

This is why you dont have your friends check your data.

Mosh, your fake mind-reading act needs to be retired. I pointed this exact issue out to Anthony. He chose what data to use. So you can stuff your eternal enmity to me right up your fundamental orifice.

As usual, your assumptions about me are 100% wrong. Once again, your endless desire to attack me has come back to bite you in the nether regions and destroy your own reputation. STOP YOUR VILE ATTACKS, YOU NASTY LITTLE MAN!!


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 1:07 pm

“and destroy your own reputation.”

How do you destroy a reputation as a mindless GOON frontman for a disreputable anti-science scam company?

His credibility is already in the marinated trench !

Joel Snider
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 3:51 pm

Willis – this well-deserved smack-down made my day.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 9:23 pm

“Mosh, your fake mind-reading act needs to be retired. I pointed this exact issue out to Anthony. He chose what data to use.”

usually when people do this to me I request that they not mention my name.
Why? because people will rightly assume that I stand behind the numbers.

OR I could ask for proof that you pointed out this issue


Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 2, 2020 9:31 pm

Yes, Steven, you could ask for proof that I’m telling the truth. Which is the same as accusing me of lying.

Now, you’re an ugly prick to accuse me of lying, but unless I provide the proof you’ll say I’m running from it. So here was my comment to Anthony:

Note that the need is187.5 GWh/day (if they’re charged daily, are they? I’d guess less. It’s a variable in the spreadsheet, change it).

In closing, let me just say, osculate my fundament.


Steven Mosher
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 9:26 pm


Your model for Korea is off by 3X in cases and 4x in deaths

want to know why YOU SHOULD NEVER USE GOMPERTZ for an on going pandemic?

the reason is OBVIOUS..

think hard about how the 3 parameters are “chosen” for the function

Think real hard….

Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 2, 2020 9:42 pm

Psst … sorry, but you’ve cancelled your own vote with me through your asswhole behavior. Go away. I’m done dealing with you. You’re no fun to discuss ideas with. All you do is endlessly attack me.

You’re a bizarre internet stalker, and it is damn creepy. I finally had to block you on Twitter for your unpleasant obsessive behavior and endless attacks. It’s tragic, because you’re a smart guy and a good scientist, but they forgot to issue you a personality and a ration of compassion …

You are one sick puppy. Get a damn life and leave me alone.

Can’t block you here, so instead, let me invite you to engage in anatomically improbable sexual self-congress featuring unlikely orifices …


Bryan A
Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 2, 2020 10:21 pm

That’s usually the last ditch effort when one is losing a debate…
If you can’t prove flaw in the data, disparage the opponent

Reply to  Steven Mosher
October 3, 2020 3:29 am

Mosh, just mindless yabber with nothing to back up his lies and slimy accusations.

Speaking gibberish as your natural language, Mosh.

You have ZERO credibility here.. you lost it long ago.

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 7:06 am

Good post. And much of that vehicle replacement will be for folks who go to work and park there for awhile. Here’s what they will be doing – mostly DURING THE DAY….

Charles Higley
Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 7:07 am

One flaw in most thinking is that an EV might be used more than just for commuting. In addition, one never knows when a relative might fall ill and you need to go to them. With an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, I can refuel on my way out of town and not have to wait until morning to be charged. Batteries also have relatively limited lifetime and their range drops over time, more so than any ICE car.

I drive from the Midwest to Maine every summer and do not fly because I bring things with me. The normal two long days of driving would become closer to a week, if I have to stop to recharge for many hours every 300 miles (do not forget that a Tesla is not allowed to run its battery down and a fair chunk of stored energy is saved to save the battery from becoming a useless brick).

The other day Tesla Central’s computer system crashed and, guess what, Teslas failed all over the country. Do people no understand that these are controlled by Tesla Central and NOT the owner?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Charles Higley
October 2, 2020 7:33 am

“The other day Tesla Central’s computer system crashed and, guess what, Teslas failed all over the country.”
Just curious but why is that?

Ian W
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
October 2, 2020 10:37 am

The report online was that owners using their phone ‘app’ would need to log in to the Tesla ‘cloud’ and request an unlock be sent to the vehicle. Cloud was down – nobody could use app to enter and start car. Those using dumb keys were not affected.
On a recent Florida hurricane evacuation Tesla drivers from Miami and South to the Keys were having to drive all the way to the Georgia border and the range of the cars is limited by software as Charles Higley said above. Tesla central remotely reduced this safety margin to add extra range to the evacuating vehicles.
<b<Conclusion: You may think that you own the vehicle but it can be bricked at will by Tesla or someone with a warrant talking to Tesla or for any other Agenda 21 reason. I have no doubt that there are other remote control capabilities too.

Max P
Reply to  Ian W
October 2, 2020 12:38 pm

My first questions for anyone who owns an electric vehicle and boasts about the range and how little it is costing to recharge it is… “How do you know what the range is? Did you drive it until it stopped?” And… “How do you know it is fully charged when it says it is?”

The only insight any electric vehicle owner has into the above questions is based upon what they are being told. You can’t dip the tank and there’s no 3rd party you can take it to for a diagnostic. Tesla, in particular, is more than aware of how many miles the vehicle will likely be driven based upon documented driving habits and can show any level of charge desired whether the vehicle is fully charged or not. It would be fairly simple to only fully charge the vehicle when it is being recharged at a, free, public charging station and have it ‘sip’ a charge when it is at the owners expense. There’s no way the vehicle owner would know unless they suddenly decided to take a long trip and then, the lack of range, would likely be put down to ‘unknown’ factors. The owner would cough up for a full charge and think nothing of it. Even if the owner was suspicious of the lack of range when ever they make an, unexpectedly, long trip who is said person going to take the vehicle to? Tesla! Right on the first guess.

Not that any of the above is happening. However, who would know if it was and how would anyone prove it without the full cooperation of the car manufacturer (Tesla for example).

Max P

Reply to  Charles Higley
October 2, 2020 7:45 am

“I drive from the Midwest to Maine every summer and do not fly because I bring things with me. The normal two long days of driving would become closer to a week,”

So, a need for ICE 4-5 days a year? They’ve got this deal now, where you can RENT THEM. And when you get there, ride apps, public trans, friends,. I would get out a pencil, paper……

John F Hultquist
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 1:37 pm

Two things caught my attention with your comment:
1: Maine has public transportation; and
2: You have friends.

– – winking smiley face – – Poe’s Law

_ _ _ _ _
In any case, I suggest California invade and conquer Nevada, then cover it with panels and wind facilities.
Nevadians could be moved to Maine, becoming Mainers. The population density would be higher and public transport and friends closer. And Californians farther away.

Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 5:23 pm

Typical urbanist response; assume the need for ICE is minimal and transient.

Yet, I would be unable to visit my closest relatives for winter or summer holidays with most of the alleged renewable vehicles.
All of the renewables require frequent charges of fossil fuels while driving.

There are multiple places in America where the distance between towns is far beyond short range vehicles. Even vehicles with small gas tanks must carry spare fuel in canisters to travel.

Nor are there any real contenders for the basic uses of larger cars or pickup trucks; feed, equipment transport, animal transport, human transport, tools, function support (pipe, plumbing, electrician, welder, farmer, carpenter, cabinetry, metal forming/fabrication, ambulances, fire fighting, lumber, etc. etc.

Every highway in America is filled with affordable extremely functional ICE vehicles transporting groups of people or transporting the tools, equipment and supplies necessary to support vocations.

Michael 2
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 3, 2020 4:25 pm

“I would get out a pencil, paper……”

Your sentence seems incomplete. I am surrounded by pens, pencils and papers; it isn’t clear to me what use they are in public or private transport.

At any rate, you make your choices, I make mine and I suppose everyone else does similarly.

Reply to  bigoilbob
October 4, 2020 9:08 am

How about he makes his own free choices about how to pursue his life liberty and happiness?
And not you. Ironic that you miss that point as you’re telling him how to live his life. The point is NOT for any random stranger online to tell you how to live their life. Or any corrupt politician or corporate CEO either. Do you actually believe it is your place to be telling him how to live his life? To tell him to alter his life so that you don’t have to alter your faith based belief in some green fantasy that was never true? Do you think that because you were not equipped to comprehend the very simple math that shows what complete nonsense this whole idea is, you get the privilege of dictating to everyone how they should live and ‘adapt’. Is that roughly what you’re saying? Because it’s what we’re all seeing. And it’s an embarrassment. Who even are you? Who do you even think you are? What have you ever even done? And how do you think you’re the one to be issuing the dictates? Why not do us all a favor and get people to stop driving gas cars by standing in the middle of the highway and demanding people stop and abandon their vehicles immediately. They’ll definitely listen when it becomes clear that you have no knowledge or skills at all. What could go wrong?

Curious George
Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 7:30 am

Won’t a new electric car have a longer average commute?

Andy Harrington
Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 7:36 am

I agree. Most cars do about 10000 miles per year so that probably works out about right.

Of course, when the Sun doesn’t shine (or clouds of smoke block out the Sun), everything stops.

Reply to  Andy Harrington
October 2, 2020 9:39 am

I am still trying to understand how roof top solar helps. If someone is at working during the day how does the roof top solar help in charging their car?

Reply to  Derg
October 2, 2020 5:37 pm

Good point Derg.

Keep in mind that the majority of homeowner “roof top solar” is strictly thermal, i.e. hot water production.

Michael 2
Reply to  Derg
October 3, 2020 4:32 pm

“If someone is at working during the day how does the roof top solar help in charging their car?”
The idea is to have storage batteries at home. This also solves the charge speed problem; you “trickle charge” the batteries all day long then you can fast charge your electric vehicle from the storage batteries.

This won’t help people in apartments.

The fire danger of millions of EV’s with lithium batteries will be huge. Here’s a video of an electric bicycle fire:

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Andy Harrington
October 3, 2020 12:20 am

I lived in Southern California for 28 years. In that whole time, I never put less than 36,000 miles a year on my car. My shortest regular commute was 4 miles each way, my longest 90 miles each way. It varied constantly with time, due to my work often having multiple sites.

Outside of my commute were things like shopping, dining out, taking the kids around, etc. For most of my years there, shopping was at least 12 and often more like 20 miles each way.

Since moving to Northern Virginia in 2014, I have put a total of 4,900 miles on my car – that’s for all 6 years, not per year. Now, I “retired” last year, so that has really throttled back the usage, but the first 5 years were pretty unusual for me, due to my mostly using public transit. But you can see the contrast.

I don’t know how anyone in So Cal can put 10,000 miles a year on a car, and most places up north are worse. If you live and/or work in the high desert, forget it. States like Texas and Florida also have vast distances between things, and 10,000 miles a year is laughable.

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 9:15 am

Clayton is correct. A Tesla that uses 62 Kw-hr PER DAY would travel (at real-world efficiency) roughly 250 miles per charge or over 90,000 miles per year. The average car travels about 15,000 miles per year, the average EV about 10,000. So the electricity demand was overestimated by a factor of 5 to 10 – a gross error in the calculation. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t believe in the climate change crisis scam and EVs will do nearly nothing to reduce GW, but this error should be fixed.

Michael 2
Reply to  Meab
October 3, 2020 4:35 pm

“but this error should be fixed.”

It isn’t really an error; it is a worst case scenario. Holiday travel; everyone goes longer distances pretty much all on the same day.

Several commenters observe that the peak grid draw will be right after work. Everyone gets home and plugs in their chargers. Oh My Transformer! Look at it glow.

Rick C PE
Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 9:32 am

According to the all-knowing Interweb, California consumers use about 14 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Without going into details regarding relative efficiency, that works out to the equivalent of 350 gigawatt-hours per day to run 25% of the vehicle fleet. (14,000,000,000 gal x 36.6 kwh/gal / 365 days/yr x 25%). That would seem to make Anthony’s 232 gwh calculation reasonable.

Even given that few EV’s will require a full capacity charge on a regular basis, the charging that is required will likely be concentrated in the overnight hours. The charging will not be powered by solar or wind. It will come from hydro, nuclear and fossil fuel plants.

Iain Reid
Reply to  Rick C PE
October 3, 2020 12:00 am


I am not familiar with California’s grid but how much Hydro is there and is it run as dispatchable? Nuclear normally runs at maximum available power at all times so cannot contribute to an increase in demand, leaving the fossil fuel generators to charge these cars with some hydro I would guess?
One factor seems not to be considered when discussing grid performance is that averages do not give the full picture and are misleading. The grid works instantaneously so at the times wind and solar are producing very little the remaining generators need to be equal in capacity, at least, to maximum demand to keep the grid live and stable. This seems not to be the case at present so what is in the pipeline for additional conventional capacity?

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 10:08 am

A better calculation is to calculate the electricity equivalent of the 5 millions gallons of gasoline Taxifornia uses per day (and this doesn’t even include diesel used for transportation).

At 120 MJ per gallon, this represents 6E14 Joules -> 166 GWH per day, 25% of which is 41.5 GHW per day. While electric motors are more efficient at turning Joules into motion, much of this is lost by inefficiencies in the power grid and battery charging, especially when green power dominates production and so much is lost by storing day time energy for use at night when cars would be charging.

I see other mandates coming where electric cars must be able to both charge from and discharge to the grid requiring electric cars to always be plugged in when not in use so that the stored energy can be put back on the grid when needed. Or perhaps like watering your lawn, you can only charge your car on certain days. No doubt that they will pile on regulations to try and make it work, but that’s unsustainable.

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 10:44 am

Don’t confuse total mile range with time the vehicle is on. When I lived in California from 1986-1994, I lived 36.5 miles from San Francisco. On a really good day I could make that trip in 45 minutes, the usual commute time was 90 minutes and on poor days, over two hours one way. Anytime the vehicle is on, you are draining the battery and decreasing total mile range. Especially in that stop & creep traffic.

Reply to  Ken
October 2, 2020 10:52 am

“Anytime the vehicle is on, you are draining the battery and decreasing total mile range. Especially in that stop & creep traffic.”

Not “decreasing total mile range”, by any significant amount. In fact, it might be offset by lower average speed, per the ICE cars that now get better standard course city than highway mileage. Since power required to push air out of the way goes up with the square of the speed, and all that. Certainly nada for the electrics, compared to ICE idling.

Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 11:16 am

Some of the newer ICE powered cars turn off the engine rather than idle for more than a minute or so.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
October 2, 2020 11:26 am

“Some of the newer ICE powered cars turn off the engine rather than idle for more than a minute or so.”

Agree. And their low speed operation is more efficient than before as well. The problem is, they STILL don’t even begin compare to electric, on an energy waste basis, in stop and go…

Reply to  co2isnotevil
October 2, 2020 11:52 am

“… don’t even begin compare to electric…”

Yes, which makes allowing them in commuter lanes without an additional passenger insane, as it rewards the already counterproductive virtue signaling by mitigating both its benefits and those of the commuter lanes. If they really cared about reducing CO2 emissions, only heavy vehicles like SUV’s should be allowed in commuter lanes without an additional passenger …

Although, if they get to 25% electric cars, this benefit will no longer be tenable.

lee Riffee
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 12:13 pm

What you say is correct, unless of course, the driver and any passengers of the EV would like to have heat or A/C while they are idling at traffic lights or creeping along in a traffic jam…..

Powering electronics is negligible, but not so for heat and A/C (well, for an ICE car heat is a byproduct but not for all electrics).

Abolition Man
Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 11:19 am

Where are you getting your average commute of 28 miles? It doesn’t sound like an accurate figure for Commifornia, where many commutes are from distant bedroom communities into the urban hub every day. Even a short commute of 20-30 miles can take a long time in stop-and-go traffic and that says nothing about having the radio, heater or A/C on!
I believe justification for the Nazi Party policies was a popular mind set in 1930’s Germany; sounds like a lot of folks are falling into the same mental trap again! Go nuclear now! CO2 to 1,000ppm!

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 11:40 am

Clayton W. October 2, 2020 at 6:29 am

I don’t think it’s fair to assume that the cars will have to be fully charged every day. The Tesla Model 3 has a 322 mile range and an average commute of about 28 miles.

322 miles? Don’t think so.

How What Car? tests electric-car ranges.
Model	Tesla Model 3 (Standard Range Plus)
Official range	254 miles
What Car? Real Range	196 miles
Difference (miles)	-58 miles

Next, US cars are typically driven about 32,000 miles per year. Most of this is taken up in commuting, around 80%. That means that the average commute is on the order of 35 miles each way, 70 miles per day.

Anthony was quite conservative, remember, in that he said only 25% electric, not 100% like Heil Newsom wants. If we assume 100% electric, 70 miles per day, 196 miles range, guess what?

It requires more power than Anthony indicated. As Shoshin said, the math doesn’t work.

And in the process of focusing on the math, you’re now ignoring the fact that they need to be charged at night … when total available solar is zero.

Best regards,


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 11:44 am

“And in the process of focusing on the math, you’re now ignoring the fact that they need to be charged at night … when total available solar is zero.”

But the first part of your post highlighted a high fraction of miles from commuting to work. With the concomitant increase in work charging stations, guess what those cars will be doing, while parked, most of the DAY…

Rick C PE
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 12:27 pm

BOB => So you’re saying that someone (large employers I suppose) will have to supply charging stations in their parking lots? Guess we can expect the installation of lots more power substations and transmission lines soon. Will tax payers be subsidizing this? Consumers will obviously need to pay to install their home charging gear, so we can now essentially double that cost to add charge at work capacity.

Reply to  Rick C PE
October 2, 2020 12:41 pm

“So you’re saying that someone (large employers I suppose) will have to supply charging stations in their parking lots?”

I reread my post very carefully, and no. There are non “will have to” ways to accomplish this. AGW/pollution carbon credits, and the normal competition for labor, for example. After all, a current, venerable, very widely used employee bennie is free, or reduced price parking, which is more expensive, in toto…..

Max P
Reply to  Rick C PE
October 2, 2020 1:37 pm

Rick. Don’t bother. Bigoilbob will just repeat what he already said as if he didn’t say it slowly or loudly enough the first time.

Large employers are NOT going to install hundreds of charging stations and absorb hundreds to thousands of dollars of electric costs, daily, to charge the vehicles of employees they are already paying to be there. Granted, there are a few large employers here, locally, that have free charging stations for the virtue signaling value and they are used, mostly, by the executives and highly paid engineers, who can afford to have an electric for their 3rd or 4th vehicle. That said, other than some free charging stations at retail stores and a few at local casinos, there aren’t many out there where you can charge for free.

Retail has them for the virtue signaling value as do the casinos. An amusing aspect of the free charging stations at these locations is watching a TESLA drive up with a ICE vehicle following, park at a charging station and plug in, then get in the ICE vehicle and drive away. Hilarious, right?

Max P

Joel Snider
Reply to  Rick C PE
October 2, 2020 3:55 pm

And never mind that there’s no real reason to do any of it.

It’s waste of time. And it’ll all get torn apart anyway, the next time some eco-fascist idiot gets a new wild hair up their ass.

Bryan A
Reply to  Rick C PE
October 3, 2020 8:39 am

Consider the negative effect on the Car Batteries Lifecycle that would occur with Daily “topping off”. To protect their range over their expected lifetime, EV batteries should only be plugged in at the point it WILL require overnight charging to recharge them.
You don’t want to plug in daily.

Killer Marmot
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 1:19 pm

Fine, but let’s get each detail roughly correct, THEN draw conclusions. And a full recharge every day is nowhere near realistic.

Ian W
Reply to  Killer Marmot
October 4, 2020 10:02 am

I worked in a set of ‘corporate offices’. As is normal the offices are built then leased out. The car park had around 1000 spaces. So the ‘they can be charged at work during the day’ proponents presumably would require plug in charging at every car park space.
This would require the offices to have their own substation and a huge amount of underground cabling to every car park space. Who is expected to fund all this?
The demand on the power company during the day would be huge and probably exceed the available power especially on dark winter days with heavy cloud and little wind.
If you are a system engineer designing a system you design to avoid 100% load indeed normally the design would be for a load not exceeding ~30% of system capacity to allow for unplanned exigences.
It would appear that the EV proponents are designing to fail.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 7:29 pm

“like Heil Newsom wants”

That made me laugh! 🙂

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 3, 2020 4:16 pm

U’S cars average 13,500 miles a year, not 32,000.

EVs typically have real ranges about 20 percent less than the official test numbers.

The cheap small European EV’s are really city cars with short ranges. And they are not even that cheap compared with ICE cars.

Killer Marmot
Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 12:42 pm

I noticed that as well. A Tesla 3 can go about 400 km on a single charge (highway driving). Most owners could fully recharge once a week if they wished.

Also, since when is power measured in kWh? Those are units of energy, not power.

Curious George
Reply to  Killer Marmot
October 2, 2020 5:39 pm

Would that decrease the energy consumption, and increase the battery life?

Killer Marmot
Reply to  Curious George
October 2, 2020 8:48 pm

Watts seems to assume that each car requires a complete recharge every day, consuming 62 KWh of energy each time. In practice, it’s probably about a tenth that.

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 2, 2020 5:28 pm

The cars can be charged while at work during the day. Rooftop feeds into the grid and comes out at your place of work. Yes this will be an additional cost to provide for the at work charging.

Reply to  Ragnaar
October 3, 2020 4:20 pm

There’s more spare electricity capacity at night but not during dinnertime – after dinner is cooked and the house is cooled with AC. CA electric power companies would love more business between 9pm and breakfast time. CA electricity use is down 9 to 10 percent in the past 10 years.

Ian W
Reply to  Ragnaar
October 4, 2020 10:12 am

Ragnaar – you really think a small rooftop feed will work?
comment image
And a thousand or so charging points and the appropriate cabling and substations of course it is unlikely that a simple solar array on an office roof will charge all those cars and when there is insufficient sun during the day or the solar panels have 2ft of snow on them which in ‘snowmaggedon’ days can last for a few weeks. Unless you have a crew that can go up to clear the solar panels on the roof.

There is reality, and then there is wishful thinking.

Reply to  Clayton W.
October 4, 2020 8:45 am

Yeah but the article is already only talking about a 25% change over. The state is demanding 100%. So we’re already only talking about charging 1 out of 4 cars per day. So sorry to tell you that these are the figures for exactly what you are talking about. They’re that far from anything remotely possible.

October 2, 2020 6:37 am

The calculation on added electricity demand seems to be incorrect. It assumes that the battery of each car would be fully discharged each day, which is unlikely to happen as it would require drivers to drive 350 kilometers daily (or whatever Tesla’s range is), while an average Californian drives about 50 kilometers per day on average. So the figure for demand should be 33 GWh, not 233.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Sobaken
October 2, 2020 7:20 am

So you are assuming that there is no energy loss anywhere in the system while driving a Tesla. I guess you must have seen the video where the two clowns drove a Tesla in Colorado going uphill, discharging most of the battery and then drove downhill and when they get back to their starting point the battery was fully charged. I knew Elon Musk is a genius but I am really impressed at how he can avoid real-world physics.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
October 2, 2020 8:01 am

Sure . . . if you believe the report from Colorado, it would fitting to claim: “Elon Musk . . . the man that re-wrote the Second Law of Thermodynamics!”

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Sobaken
October 2, 2020 7:41 am

That’s the claimed range. How many ICE cars do you know that achieve their claimed mpg? The average mileage in California is, according to the internet, 13,636 miles or 37 miles per day. The claimed range for a Model 3 is 250 miles, but call it 175 miles in real conditions. So that’s 1.4 full charges per week.

So I think the 233 is too high as you do, but your number is too low. The other problem is that it doesn’t really matter what the total is, but that the vast majority say 80% of vehicles will be put on charge within the same 2 hour period every evening Monday to Friday.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Sobaken
October 2, 2020 8:23 am

As in global average temps or basically for any average, averages hide data. Average power needed for a day is the first question a design engineer would ask. The second is how much peak power is needed at any time throughout the day. When everyone gets home and plugs in their vehicle that draws 32 amps what is happening to the power supply for the grid? Why solar is fast declining.

The average power over a period of time is not the real question. It is how much peak power is needed to prevent brown/black outs.

Ian W
Reply to  Sobaken
October 2, 2020 10:47 am

The problem will not be the overall GWH. It will be the short term peak load.
So most Californians will get home between 5pm and 8pm. It is probable that many of those will top up charge their vehicle just in case. So there could be a load jump in the hours 5pm to 9pm just as sun goes away and wind starts dropping. So it is not the annual baseload power so much as the dispatchable peak power for the average early evening charging.
If you live in an area where power can go down with little warning like California, I would expect that many people will keep their cars as close to fully charged as possible – exacerbating the problem of a surge in demand at the time solar is going offline.

Reply to  Ian W
October 2, 2020 11:42 am


October 2, 2020 6:52 am

Gavin has undoubtedly overpromised. But he will make good progress if he compromises on nat gas peaker and base gas electric production. The good news is that he has already disrupted the CDOGGR, way beyond renaming it. He has been moving to bring Cal’s nat gas storage infrastructure out of danger since his election, and hopefully will expand it. The resultant replacement of vehicle IC emissions with those from nat gas conversion will leave him short of his stretch goal, but will make matters much better. Admittedly, most of this nat gas will be imported. The Sac valley is toast, w.r.t. actual reserves, of any class….

Storage trends are also working in his favor. My skin flint son in the SF Bay area is. as we speak, installing solar/storage at his house.

Bigger pic, Cal’s population will stabilize, as only the sharpest, most hard working of us can afford to live there. Cal. leavers are half as likely to have a BS or better than the comers. So, Cal will continue to bright size at the expense of taker states with relatively burgeoning populations, and will thereby continue to support those yeast states….

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 7:23 am

So all those illegal immigrants pouring into Mexifornia has a BS or better?

Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
October 2, 2020 7:55 am

“So all those illegal immigrants pouring into Mexifornia has a BS or better?”

Uh, you mean THIS one?

Actually, you highlight a valid Cal problem. How to help out the Californians who do most of the front line work. The answer is to properly value it, and thereby mechanize it, automate it, otherwise economically ration it, and stop the hypocrisy of calling the folks who do it, “illegal”, but subversively inviting them at the same time. That way, less poverty, less inequality more recognition of what actually needs to be done…

Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 2:28 pm

In Bob’s world, calling someone here illegally an “illegal” is hypocritical …

Suck up much, Bob? Cause you sure seem practiced at it …


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 2:48 pm

“In Bob’s world, calling someone here illegally an “illegal” is hypocritical …”

Read my post again. This time, for comprehension. The referenced hypocrisy is obviously between what we say and what we do. What we do is allow the (mostly Repub) employers and labor contractors to put out the welcome mat for these (now) essential workers.

Want to control their employment? Simple. RICO the employers. Start at the bottom, with undoc workers, offer them some tiny helps in exchange for names, and work up. Lots of Cal Repubs, including Arnie’s Lt. Gov. would end up in Club Fed, with tennis court access strictly controlled…..

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 2, 2020 3:30 pm

bigoilbob October 2, 2020 at 2:48 pm

“In Bob’s world, calling someone here illegally an “illegal” is hypocritical …”

Read my post again. This time, for comprehension.

Bob, I understood what you said. I just thought it was bullshit.

If we were “inviting them”, IT WOULDN’T BE ILLEGAL! We invite people to immigrate legally. We pass laws against them coming in illegally.

Let me know when you’ve noticed the difference.

And here is the point—whether they are here by invitation or not, THEY ARE HERE ILLEGALLY. And as a result, calling them “illegals” is an ACCURATE DESCRIPTION.

And an accurate description is not “hypocritical” as you falsely assert. It’s just … accurate.


Bryan A
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
October 3, 2020 8:51 am

Not to mention, it is the current Republican Government that is trying to keep Illegals out and both the prior Democrat Government that did nothing and the Democrat cities that are “Sanctuary” cities
It’s not the Republicans that are causing the problems

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 8:34 am

bigoilbob posted: “But he will make good progress if he compromises on nat gas peaker and base gas electric production.”

He will make ZERO progress because—as many rational posters have previously pointed out—since solar and wind are intermittent sources of electricity, to have a RELIABLE electrical grid one must have power generation sources (“hot turning backup”) that can be brought on-line quickly, say in less than ten minutes, to offset instances of solar and wind power inputs abruptly going to zero.

And don’t even both to suggest a massive power grid, such as that serving California, can be cost-effectively backed-up with battery technology. Yeah, right.

Basically, every additional megawatt of solar and wind capacity added to the grid will require an additional megawatt of conventional (coal, gas, nuclear, hydro) “hot” BACKUP capacity to be available to the grid if it is to be stable.

And because these BACKUP sources must be built, but necessarily won’t be used anywhere near 70-90% of time, as is the case for active, on-line power plants, they will represent a grossly under-utilized capital investment/expense, resulting in a lousy ROI for the taxpayers’ investments in them.

Newsom will be extremely lucky if the LCOE cost savings from solar and wind ever reaches breakeven point. But don’t look to his administration to present an objective LCOE analysis based on the current demonstrated lifetimes of solar and wind power plants.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
October 2, 2020 1:09 pm


Black JEM
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 11:31 am

Actually, California is not a net supporter, and hasn’t been since around the end of the 2008 recession. They have the highest relative poverty rate in the country and consume huge amounts of welfare resources for a substantial portion of their citizenry (SNAP, Medicaid, Housing, etc). I don’t deny at the high end California does very well, buoyed substantially by the tech business and, decreasingly, Hollywood. Now the most recent tax reform did cut away some of that net taking, as the country writ large no longer subsidizes the wealthy taxpayers for California’s absurdly high individual tax rates. We know this is a problem as Pelosi utilized the COVID situation to try and get that changed for her constituents.

I am well aware that you can find all sorts of arguments out on the interweb on either side of the issue, I’ve been to many of them, and invariably they fail to count actual transfer payments back to support their arguments. And then we start adding in military and SS payments and it all goes out of whack. California is increasingly hollowing out. A small bit of very wealthy, a substantially increasing lower class – with high welfare service utilization – and a diminishing middle class (and a retiree class that is also leaving the state). They have the highest income disparity in the US as a result of this. The days of California being a net subsidizer of the US Treasury are over.

Reply to  Black JEM
October 2, 2020 1:07 pm

“Actually, California is not a net supporter, and hasn’t been since around the end of the 2008 recession. ”

Wishful magical, thinking.

“Now the most recent tax reform did cut away some of that net taking, as the country writ large no longer subsidizes the wealthy taxpayers for California’s absurdly high individual tax rates. ”

“I am well aware that you can find all sorts of arguments out on the interweb on either side of the issue, I’ve been to many of them, and invariably they fail to count actual transfer payments back to support their arguments.”

What does wallethub leave out? What do those “other side” articles leave out? All I can think of are the Trent Lott style defense spend troughing….

That hypocritical rule says that we should end more to Big Daddy, since he knows what to do with it better than we. But I am actually cool with it, since it, to a tiny extent, it reduces national debt. Even my “wealthy taxpayer” STEM son and DIL, in the SF bay area, are ok with it.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  bigoilbob
October 2, 2020 1:03 pm

There is no such thing as “overpromise” on Liberal ideals for Liberals. The mindset at work is “never enough.”

When Newsom’s EV order fails, in the eyes of the Liberals it will be because he didn’t go even bigger, bolder on the grandiose idea of EVs.

October 2, 2020 6:52 am

I predict CA will have lots of older cars, many purchased in 2034, and a thriving market for auto mechanics. Eventually, enough old cars on the road so that CA looks like Cuba with lots of old American cars.

For those with electric cars, diesel or gasoline powered electricity generators will be used to charge them overnight because the electric grid won’t handle the load.

I’m developing nuclear powered fans to spin windmills, and nuclear powered spotlights to light up soar panels at night. Technology is the answer.

This article contained too many numbers, said governor Newsom, whose staff is now adding them all up, for a total.

October 2, 2020 6:56 am


Do not forget the infrastructure required to increase the amps in each neighborhood.

The increase in kilowatts will require either higher volts and more local transformers, or maybe much larger cables to handle the loads, or a combination of both.

I doubt if the Governor’s advisor know a damn about volts and amps and kilowatts and cable capacity for the current and…. and……

Gums sends…

Reply to  Gums
October 2, 2020 7:40 am

“Do not forget the infrastructure required to increase the amps in each neighborhood.”

I thought the big take aways were that All of these vehicles would require FULL recharge every NIGHT? 2 “not too thoughtfuls” in one WUWT, but not surprising.

But in fact, you’re right. I don’t hold it agin’ Gavin that he isn’t doing the grid planning on his own, and I’m guessing that he has been so informed. The infrastructure $ could become available from stopping the subsidization of service into wilderness and wilderness adjacent areas. I.e., if you wanna’ “Live the dream”, KYSO. But on your own nickel, and with safe (probably underground and/or hacienda based) electricity delivery…

October 2, 2020 7:04 am

Why would Californians only charge cars at night?

Surely they park them at work, shopping malls, multiple other places which can/will have chargers?

(If you really want to know how this works, go look at Oslo, which has one of the planet’s highest levels of EV sales)

Topm in Florida
Reply to  griff
October 2, 2020 7:36 am

And where or where will all that electricity come from?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  griff
October 2, 2020 7:50 am

You forget, that Norway has a lot of hydro power, not wind and solar.
And they see the problem of the battery production as the biggest one.

Willem post
Reply to  Krishna Gans
October 2, 2020 9:45 am

Norway is 98% hydro.
All houses are required to have ground source heat pumps.
It gets too cold in Norway for air source heat pumps.

My brother in law lives about 20 miles north of Oslo.
He installed a system with a 1000 ft deep hole, filled with thermally conductive concrete and a plastic U tube.
He paid about $90,000 for a turnkey system for his 5000 sq ft house, including new radiators in the house.

Reply to  Willem post
October 2, 2020 12:34 pm

That’s a lot of money, even for ‘free’ heat. A house that size could have a complete new forced air, high efficiency HVAC system installed, including retrofitting new duct work, for about $25K.

Based on what I pay for natural gas heat and electric AC, it would cost an average of less than $125/mo in a rationally priced energy market. The expected service life of heating and cooling systems is about 30 years, which at $125/mo is $45K for energy and you’re $20K ahead.

Of course, in Socialist Norway, relative to value, both labor and energy are much more expensive …

Reply to  griff
October 2, 2020 7:56 am

Norway is predominantly hydroelectric.

But then you knew that, right?

Reply to  griff
October 2, 2020 9:49 am

Norway is ending their tax credit for electric vehicles by 2021. Tax credits for the wealthy

“Constant headlines over the past few years have left many people scratching their heads as to why a little Scandinavian nation with a population just over 5 million leads the EV revolution. The answer is simple: favorable environmental math, and financial incentives.”

Tim Gorman
Reply to  griff
October 2, 2020 12:56 pm

Whose basement do you live in? So you ever get out to see how real people actually live?

Take a place like New York, Chicago, or St. Louis. Lot’s of people park in outlying municipal parking lots and take the train/subway into work. Can you see these cities adding enough charging stations to handle the demand? They are already going broke because of pension debt!

October 2, 2020 7:08 am

You can estimate the electricity needed by an electric fleet by determining the miles per day for that fleet and then dividing by the average miles per kWhr for electrics, which would be roughly 3.5. Since most EVs charge at night , the load on the grid would be about the least possible. Public charging stations often use solar panels for their electricity and do not draw against the grid to any great extent, often to no extent. Generally past estimates for an electric fleet conclude that most grids could handle the extra load , or come close to being able to do so.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  ColMosby
October 2, 2020 8:00 am

“Since most EVs charge at night” Is this after midnight when folks are in bed? I suspect most will plug in as soon as they arrive home. Right when usage is max with air conditioning/electric heating, cooking, laundry, etc. The Tesla charging station mentioned in the article is a 240V/32A service. Basically another electric range and even more than an HVAC system.

“Public charging stations often use solar panels for their electricity” Really? How many solar panels in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky does it take to supply 240 volts at 35 amps? Most places I have seen in the Midwest are located nearby to businesses that have 480 volt power available and there are no solar panels.

John Furst
October 2, 2020 7:09 am

All the solar or wind must be backed up with gas , nuclear or imported electricity. It doesn’t matter what mileage, miles, day or night, the entire electric system from distribution to transmission with local or imported generation, must be available 24/7.

The investments needed whether at system or customer locations and the operating costs when utilized, must be in place.
The total costs ultimately to customers and taxpayers is not less. The reduced real emissions are not reduced, just relocated.

Also , distribution must be built for the maximum demand ever, may not be totally coincident with peak system demand , and is likely the most expensive cost for each kW/MW to its peak.

John Furst
Reply to  John Furst
October 2, 2020 10:58 am

So, show all costs for above all the capacity of Additional generation, transmission,and distribution to provide 24/7 reliable electric service TO EVERY solar/ wind kWhr.
Show those extra cost on all bills.
Show all the real pollution, all CO2 from the above necessary sources , wherever they are in the USA, that make Solar/ wind work at all!
Show all the costs, including mines, pipelines, electric generation capacity and energy to manufacture and dispose of solar/wind..and the pollution and ancillary social costs wherever they occur! Place those on electric bills too!
Now…do you really want solar / wind mandates?

Reply to  John Furst
October 2, 2020 11:07 am

“So, show all costs for above all the capacity of Additional generation, transmission,and distribution to provide 24/7 reliable electric service TO EVERY solar/ wind kWhr”

Count me in. And we concurrently pay as we go for all hydrocarbon production/transportation costs that are now being communized from those who supposedly accepted them freely, to the rest of us. I.e., environmental, asset retirement, AGW, political/military. Both running, and those shirked for ever a century. Ok?

October 2, 2020 7:09 am

Howdy from Texas 
Just had to write you again from Texas on the matter of getting rid of fossil fuels for electricity by 2050.
There are a lot climate alarmists who think this is a great idea.
I wrote this and hoped it would tickle your journalistic bone or give you a Chris Matthews thrill up your leg.
You might be inspired to follow this. Bet you wont see this paper napkin math in the news.
Lets see how we get to fossil fuel free for electricity by 2050.
Assume we plan the rest of 2019 of what, where, and how to build the fossil free energy sources.
Then we start building from Jan 2, 2020 to Dec 31,2049. 
This includes Sundays too. Hell in Texas we don’t sell beer until after noon on Sunday. 
That gives us 10,950 days. I didn’t include leap days. I don’t want some gal proposing to me.
The US used 4.2×10^12 kWh for electricity in 2018. This is a big number even for us Texans! 63.5% is from fossil fuels.
This leaves 2.7×10^12 kWh for fossil fuels(Data is from government sources). Now let us assume we don’t have population or energy growth for all those years. Energy needs stay the same for 30 years.
If we want those big old whirly bird killing machines, let start with a big one. The biggest I could find was a 10 mega-watt one.
If the wind blew only 25%(good number from wind farm data) of the time it would generate about 2×10^7 kWh in a year. 
You would need about 120 thousand of them to meet total demand.
You would need to build 12 per day and every day until 2050. That assumes no maintenance, no breakdowns, etc.
If you build any in Texas(hope you dont) you cant have hurricanes from the south, tornadoes from the west, or hail storms from the north. 
Have you seen or been in a tornado? I have, really tears the sh!t out of things.
How about solar panels? Using the typical power density at high noon(of course not counting night time, also best time to go boot scooting in Texas) 
you would need to cover an area of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
Oh yeah tell the birds to stay away or don’t have any snow storms or any clouds.
Nuke power is not a topic the climate alarmists want to talk about. But if you did, try the largest nuke plant in the US is a 4 giga-watt plant.
You would need to build one of those about every 150 days. Hope one of those don’t Chernobyl on us and leave a huge fire hole.
Probably some Texan would make a BBQ pit out it. 
Well you can see where this is headed, paper napkin math with a TI calculator says we cant get there.
As AOC people said this isn’t about climate change its about going socialist.(Go to Venezuela for a year and stay the hell of Texas).
So the next time someone says they are going fossil free, ask what and how they are to build it.
Then ask the big ONE, ask them to do it without fossil energy sources.
The usual answer is we will just cut back. Tell them to go first and do without AC and their latte and their jet travel(how about going covered wagon) 
Instead of talking about paper napkin ideas we should debate the facts.
How about a head to head 2 hour debate on national TV with experts from both sides?
As we say in Texas the climate alarmists would have their hat handed to them.
A third grader could do this math with a TI calculator but just some thoughts from an electrical engineer with 50+ years experience.

Happy trails and reaching for a Lone Star cold one and some ribs from the pit.


John Piccirilli
Reply to  dave sey
October 2, 2020 1:16 pm

TEXAN, That was awesome.

Reply to  dave sey
October 2, 2020 1:23 pm

It is now October 2, 2020.

Reply to  dave sey
October 3, 2020 4:21 am

How much fossil fuel and mining operations would be needed to produce those 120,000 windmills?
And won’t a lot of the existing windmills need replacing by 2050 as ones currently being built will be 30 years old?
If you get caught in a traffic jam in winter with lights on and the heater going full blast as happens quite often on UK motorways, as well as with delays of hours after an accident, then you are left with several hundred cars with flat batteries needing to be towed to a charging point. Good business for the rescue vehicles, but will they have to be battery powered, and how many cars will a charge allow to be rescued?

Steve Case
October 2, 2020 7:11 am

On September 23, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that will ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the Golden State by 2035

From my file tag lines smart remarks etc:
Left-wing Liberal Democrats and the Main Stream media have no sense of numbers, science and reality.
That’s why they think we can power the world’s economy on wind mills, solar panels, and squirrel cages.

Besides the electric car nonsense, California has started to ban natural gas.

However, I want a small electric car to zip around town in. So far I’ve driven a Tesla, in San Jose no less, where there are a lot of them and a Cooper Mini test drive here at home in WI. They are just Wow!

JimH in CA
Reply to  Steve Case
October 2, 2020 7:56 am


The Aptera appears to be back as an electric only 2 seat commuter. They claim it uses only 100 wHr/ mile, vs the Tesla 3 using about 300 wHr/ mile.
They have covered the surfaces with solar pv cells which they claim provides some self- recharge capability.

We’ll see if they are able to getting into actual production this time. But, they do need funding to contune development.
I had put a deposit on their original gas version, which they failed to be able to produce, so they refunded all deposits.

October 2, 2020 7:15 am

He won’t be governor at that time, nor will he have any consequences. With any luck, a future governor will strike this down.
There just over 14 years to make another irrational decision. It’ll be phun to watch.

Dave Yaussy
October 2, 2020 7:18 am

I’ve been waiting for this type of analysis, thanks. But I agree with those who note that you wouldn’t fully charge each car every day. It would be interesting to see the calculations redone with a more realistic assessment of how often cars are fully charged. But it would also be interesting to follow up with the amount of solar losses/increased number of panels needed due to having to charge batteries during the day to charge cars at night, or the increased number of windmills needed as the increased electrical demand forces installation of greater numbers of windmills in lower wind-speed areas. In the end, none of this works. Bring on the nukes.

Ian W
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
October 2, 2020 12:47 pm

If I lived where Anthony does and you can get a call in the night as the power goes out – wild fire evacuate now!! – I would not leave my car at less than 90%. Indeed, with the potential for not finding a charging point without a day long line, I think every time the car was stopped I would be trying to charge it.
All these safe townie assumptions and calculations don’t work once you can’t walk to the drugstore.

Reply to  Ian W
October 2, 2020 2:46 pm

If I had a pure BEV, I would at least carry a 3-4 kW Honda generator in the truck. At least you can maybe get enough charge to get to the next charging station. That they won’t even build in a smallish dedicated ICE engine into the pure BEV vehicles might be a future downfall of pure EV’s when there is real crisis and things go south for a lot of people. Sure goes to show how idealists can screw up a fairly good idea. You would think someone like Elon Musk could even think that one through, but this is the problem with ideology. Even a miniature solid oxide fuel cell running on a fossil fuel that could supply thermal heating and minimal charging would be a huge improvement to the BEV.

October 2, 2020 7:19 am

They obviously are thinking that for the plebs, the power of the current Tesla models is way too much. Something more along the lines of a golf cart, with a maximum speed of 25mph or so is quite sufficient.

Exponentially increasing registration tax based upon engine power can help to enforce this.

Then ban cars (gas or electric) in all metropolitan and maybe even suburban areas.

Who needs generation capacity?

October 2, 2020 7:20 am

In many cities people live in apartments and only have street parking. Sometimes you are lucky and get a spot close to where you live, other times you park a few blocks away. How will these cars be charged ? I suppose there could be chargers at every spot and some type of credit card reader. Just hope someone doesn’t walk by and unplug you.

Ian W
Reply to  Stevek
October 2, 2020 12:58 pm

Someone will have to pay for all the new cabling and heavy duty power supplies. Even in subdivisions the existing power supplies may be insufficient and more than one ‘fast charger’ in your street and the subdivision needs new supply cabling and substations. Who pays for those?
Then the many subdivisions all add up to needing more heavy duty transmission lines to the town. Who pays for those?
Those transmission lines have to come from a power generation station that currently does not exist or if it does has not got the capacity. Who pays for those? Will they be allowed due to fire risk? If not allowed then no power is available.

My understanding of California planning regulations and permissions is that 2035 – 14 years is pushing it for getting permissions then building a new conventional power station. If the state insists that renewable generation is required instead then that’s not going to help the charging at night and it will still take more than 10 years to come online.

I think that this fails a feasibility analysis regardless of the timescale – saying it can be all up and running in 14 years just moves toward the impossible

Reply to  Ian W
October 3, 2020 5:36 am

Most of the Green Jobs that the proponents of EVs talk about will have to be trench digging to lay the higher capacity cables that will be needed to supply the charging stations. All the rest of the windmills etc will come from overseas.

Lady Scientist
Reply to  StephenP
October 4, 2020 12:19 am

We’re going need some bigger copper mines

October 2, 2020 7:21 am

Rationing is the great leap forward.

Let us know how it goes.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  fretslider
October 2, 2020 11:10 am

rationing will be done by price and affordability. Only the wealthiest will drive ICE cars due to Cal’s carbon tax. Same for the yachts and private jets.

October 2, 2020 7:28 am

If electric car sales increase dramatically then there will be less demand for oil and price will drop as the higher cost producers go out of business and supply can be made fully by the lower cost producers. Without an increase in gasoline tax it is hard to compete cost wise with ice engine, especially the efficient engines. If gas price very high because of taxes and electricity price relatively low then the electric car can compete price wise over the lifetime of the car. Much of the car business is simply price driven. Lower to middle class often make decision based on price they can afford. With electricity prices consumers are at the mercy of the utility companies that often have a monopoly. With gas there is much more competition.

October 2, 2020 7:28 am

The loonies are trying to bring forward the ban on new ice cars to 2030 in UK at the same time there’s talk of third generation smart meters being used to switch off power when the grid can’t cope. The futures so bright I gotta wear shades…or maybe not

Nick Graves
October 2, 2020 7:38 am

Problem is one must allow for demand peaks – people preparing to go away for thanksgiving, or to escape the earthquake, etc.

Using average mileage/GWh theory might work in principle, but human nature isn’t like that.

Bryan A
Reply to  Nick Graves
October 3, 2020 4:35 pm

That and recharging needs to be accomplished within minutes to be effective in the event of emergency evacuations. I would hate to be evacuating Paradise during the fires and have to wait an hour to recharge before I could go.
Or escaping a Hurricane Katrina event from the Florida keys and have to stop for hours every 200-250 miles to recharge

October 2, 2020 7:40 am

Presumably the crime rate will go down cos the crimms won’t be able to charge the getaway vehicle 🤪

Rod Evans
Reply to  Notanacademic
October 2, 2020 7:48 am

Clearly you, represent the ultimate optimist. You image we will have something left worth stealing by 2035? I am running the numbers and my calcs tell me, by 2026 it is all over for most of us.

Gordon A. Dressler
October 2, 2020 7:53 am

Very fitting that in the photo at the lead of the above article—one titled to be Governor Newsom announcing his “major climate initiative”—he is standing in front of an amusement park.

OK, all you “kids”, Daddy has spoken, now go out to play and pretend.

October 2, 2020 7:55 am

New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act has a target of a 40% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 for all sectors including transportation. New York has about 11 million vehicles registered so to get a 40% reduction about 5 million will have to be zero emitting by 2030. As of August 2, 2020 there are 53,859 zero-emitting vehicles. I will see California’s looming car wreck and raise you a New York inevitable catastrophic car wreck

John the Econ
October 2, 2020 8:00 am

Won’t be a problem. By 2035, the middle-class in California that does most of the driving will be gone; either moved away for a better standard of living and jobs elsewhere, or simply absorbed into the lower class that will be packed in cities and won’t need a car anyway.

Steve Case
October 2, 2020 8:07 am

On September 23, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that will ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the Golden State by 2035

The man is stupid, his staff must be stupid too. A limit of one gas powered car per household and as many electrics as you want is a little more reasonable, but not a state-wide mandate, leave it up to local government. That along with nuclear power for the grid just might make a decent world to live in. But that isn’t what left-wing liberal Democrats want.

October 2, 2020 8:30 am

I understand it will only ban sales of ICE vehicles in CA. Bye bye auto industry with associated sales tax and show rooms and support personnel and hello to windfall in Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon auto industry. This alone will stop the edict.

October 2, 2020 8:35 am

Uh, that’s the governor of CA? He looks like a clueless adult-kid that lives in mommy’s basement.

October 2, 2020 8:40 am

There is another alternative which is ammonia fuel. If you like your internal combustion engine car, you can keep your internal combustion engine car.

Saudi Arabia has just shipped a bunch of blue ammonia to Japan for use in power generators. It’s called blue because, although it is made with fossil fuels, the carbon is sequestered so there are no CO2 emissions. link

The reason some people like ammonia is that it means they don’t have to change things. In this case, Saudi Arabia can continue to pump oil and still claim to be climate friendly. The shipping industry likes ammonia because it burns in their giant diesel engines. ie. They won’t have to make ruinous modifications to their ships or their business models.

Ammonia lets people go along the way they were going and only actually switch to away from fossil fuels if and when they are forced to do so.

October 2, 2020 8:53 am

Work on about 16Kwhrs plug to wheel average per 100 kms (60miles) per car and in Oz the average annual kms travelled is 15000kms so maybe 10000 miles for the US? Then with the number of cars you’ll get an idea of the firm power required.

You don’t have solar at night and getting rid of fossil fuels means no off peak at night like coal. So that kills the benefits of overnight home charging so you’d have to have charging at work or commuter carparking to use the midday solar duck curve with super chargers. Copper miners start digging now.

Besides savvy homeowners would quickly learn to use their solar for electric hot water and aircon as the most economic form of storage with uniformly priced power-

Fantasy and we need any increase in lithium production for doomster medication-

October 2, 2020 9:15 am

Gavin Newsom should at least modify this less than thought out proposal to ban all ICE vehicles by 2035, to a Plug In Hybrid (PHEV) version of the EO, that allows for a very efficient use of a smaller ICE engine to assist in charging and traction to the wheels, but still get the benefit of having available the advantages of pure EV power for a majority of trips. I would never ever buy a pure EV unless it was a golf cart, so having this transition to PHEV for 20-30 years would resolve all of these problems with everything including cold weather issues. The PHEV will still be majority run in EV mode with batteries for a shorter 40-50 miles range but have the capability of a full ICE and unlimited range. A pure EV is a disaster waiting to happen on a society scale, when push comes to shove and there is an emergency and the power is out for any reason. Or everyone is on the road at once…think of any evacuation for a forest fire, or hurricane and everyone stuck at once. Complete disaster waiting to happen.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime with 302 HP combined powertrain that is almost as fast as a Ferrari 0-60 MPH is looking like a real winner from a PHEV perspective. Has the full advantages and best of both worlds. Put a 15 Amp (1800 watt) household inverter on the battery for a back up electricity supply for off grid, or when the ice storm/hurricane arrives and you can stay at home with a priority load controller for the furnace fan, fridge/freezer and TV/Internet working, and people will be beating a path to buy these. I have a downpayment on one, but they are so in demand, most people can’t buy one and there is now a two year waiting list. China withheld a lot of rare earth elements to Japan in their trade conflict the last few years, so has curtailed their production of EV’s somewhat for now.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Earthling2
October 2, 2020 12:46 pm

“A pure EV is a disaster waiting to happen on a society scale, when push comes to shove and there is an emergency and the power is out for any reason. Or everyone is on the road at once…think of any evacuation for a forest fire, or hurricane and everyone stuck at once. Complete disaster waiting to happen.”

At least with a stalled ICE vehicle you can haul gas to it in order to get it out of the way? How do you haul electricity to a dead EV?

I agree a PHEV is a partial answer but what do you do when you want to pull your 24foot trailer to the lake 100 miles away? I wouldn’t plan on using a RAV4! If you have to have a second vehicle even the PHEV looks a whole lot less attractive.

I still say Newsome and the Dems are going to get shot down on this one. Vehicles are an interstate commodity just like wheat. And no state can ban interstate commerce, that is solely the purview of the federal government. The first time an auto dealer imports a new out-of-state Ford 250 pickup into CA in order to sell it and CA tries to interfere the new conservative Supreme Court is going to slap them down.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
October 2, 2020 1:44 pm

Assuming the Democrats are still in in control of California by 2035, they will raise the carbon/fuel taxes on fossil fuels to artificially make the cost so expensive that people won’t be able to afford to have an ICE vehicle on the road in Kali. While interstate commerce is protected under the constitution, they can implement other ignorant measures to throw roadblocks in the way of federal regulations. And tie things up in court indefinitely. Or just make the vehicle inspection process so erroneous that you can’t pass for a clean air policy defect on an older ICE vehicle. If they are determined to commit collective suicide, not much anyone can do.

The only option is to vote these shiesters out of office but that won’t likely happen either, with the demographics also shifting, especially in California. Probably a lot of middle class will just up and leave the Golden state and Californize the rest of the Union. I think we might be witnessing the demise of America as we once knew it, which is the stated agenda of a lot of anarchist groups like BLM and Antifa forces which the Democrats openly support. The Russians and Chicoms must be rubbing their hands in glee as they watch the West implode with socialistic/marxist philosophy behind it all. As Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev declared when he said in 1960 at the UN, that they would bury us without firing a shot.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Earthling2
October 2, 2020 5:05 pm

I am truly hoping we won’t see any Caiforiazation here. Unless they like country music and their vision of entertainment is attending something like the Country Stampede, the local county fair, or the state there isn’t much here to attract them. It’s pretty much the same from TX north to the Canadian border.

Part of the problem with America today is too many people who consider themselves “elites” living in the lap of luxury and not having any idea how that luxury comes about. Even the poor have cell phones, air conditioning, and heat in the winter and no idea how any of it works! Meat comes from the grocery store and not from someone standing knee deep in cow guts. But OMG we got to have our free stuff! And the politicians are happy to promise the free stuff because most of them don’t know how anything works either or where it comes from either!

Henry Keswick
October 2, 2020 9:16 am

Here in the UK our crackpot politicians are going one better and banning the sale of petrol or diesel cars by 2030. They’ve no idea where ‘the electric’ will come from (does it grow on trees?) or those nasty chemicals required to manufacture batteries (probably grow on trees as well?). You have to pinch yourself sometimes to prove this isn’t some sort of bad dream. Has someone perfected the ultimate ‘stupid virus’ and infected politicians round the world?

October 2, 2020 9:20 am

Never fear, Goldberg Engineering has been awarded the contract from the state and will design an elaborate system of batteries, solar panels, wind turbines and long term contracts with out of state fossil power plants to ensure the Big Green Machine rolls forward…

Reply to  Steven
October 2, 2020 9:41 am

Is Rube running that company?

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Derg
October 2, 2020 11:30 am

Cal’s Democrats are all Rubes.

October 2, 2020 9:25 am

My fleet of used Toyotas just got more valuable. Right Scotty?

October 2, 2020 9:39 am

I predict an electric car and a big used SUV in every Hollywood driveway. This will replace the Prius and the big SUV today. Of course the plane at the airport is exempt along with the yacht at the marina and the part interest in a limo business.

The Dark Lord
October 2, 2020 9:54 am

California car mechanics rejoice … Used car salesmen are not far behind …

October 2, 2020 9:55 am

I would expect runs on electricity to occur ahead of every forecasted heatwave, storm or cold snap. Just like the run on toilet paper with C-19, people will want to hoard power to ensure their EVs are fully charged at all times, particularly if they feel threatened. The grid demand will be extremely peaky.

The demand calculations need to also consider the EV trucking fleet and when they will be recharging. EV reefer semis hauling perishables such as produce and frozen mean are going to use a lot of watts. Some portion of these trucks will likely be charging at all hours.

Can you imagine what the power demand will be at the large truck stops where the rigs park overnight? I’ve seen some with over 50 rigs lined up, running their engines all night to keep the refrigeration units going.

October 2, 2020 10:07 am

If this move by Newsom can be challenged by a proposition, I hope it does and overrides it.

October 2, 2020 10:18 am

will ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the Golden State by 2035

Banning new ice cars is one thing, but there is the second-hand marke to considert. Cars can last quite a long time if they are well maintained.

Perhaps California can buy them all up?

Mike Smith
October 2, 2020 10:33 am

California claims to have met its goal of 33% of power from renewables. They raised the target to 50% and are talking about shooting for 100%.

Now let’s look at reality. I grabbed the numbers from CAISO at 6:00pm last night. I chose 6:00pm because that’s roughly when demand peaks at this time of year.

Around 23.8 GW (56%) from Natural Gas
Around 9.8 GW (23%) from Imports
Around 3.4 GW (8%) from Large Hydro
Around 3.0 GW (7%) from Renewables
Around 2.0 WG (5%) from Nuclear (that would be Diablo Canyon which they’re planning to close)

We typically have around 10 GW of solar in the middle of the day. When that falls off a cliff in the evening, we import 10 GW of power to see is through until the following morning.

Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom and friends are just flat out lying about the viability of wind and solar.

Coeur de Lion
October 2, 2020 10:44 am

And all this is to control global temperature in 2100? Good luck with that.

October 2, 2020 11:09 am

And who is going to pay for subsidizing all these EV’s? Add on the extra cost of even buying a subsidized EV and paying the subsidy in your taxes, the high cost of renewable energy, the taxes to subsidize the infrastructure for the renewables, the cost of infrastructure for charging stations (possibly millions of stations), higher taxes to substitute for the loss of road tax revenue on gasoline sales, etc. and you end up with a pretty poor and pissed off electorate.

I foresee a revolution starting in California that will end up consuming the nation.

Joel O’Bryan
October 2, 2020 11:23 am

Boy Newsom is making that speech while standing in front of 4 EVs. I can see thaa one is an Audi, and 2 are Teslas.
The Audi etron EV has for 2021 a base starting price of $67,000.
The model 3 Tesla base price is $35,500 but very few are made at that price. Most start at $45K.
The model S starting base price for the lowest KWh model is $76,000.

Based on the huge number of $15,000 Hyundais and other “value” brand new cars on Cal’s roads today, there’s a real disconnect with economic reality going on there. The Democrats depend on the low wage voter in Cal to keep them in office. Seems to me the lower income, barely middle class voter in Cal voting Democrat are voting against their own self interests.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 2, 2020 1:07 pm

Joel, I agree with the thrust of your post, but take issue with your statement “The Democrats depend on the low wage voter in Cal to keep them in office.”

That is largely true, but IMHO they depend equally on high wage liberal voters (e.g., entertainment stars and related mucky-mucks, some business men/women dependent on state government largesse and favorable “issue” legislation, advocates for open border immigration, most academicians, etc.) . . . it is these people that willingly cough up the money to support the continuing elections of Democrats.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
October 2, 2020 3:10 pm

The high earner white Libs are the ones driving the Tesla Models S, X and Audi e-tron EV’s at $80K – $130K a pop. They never think these climate scam policies will adversely affect them, that is until the lights and A/C on a summer night can’t stay on reliably.
That’s a problem certainly set to get worse in California.

CD in Wisconsin
October 2, 2020 11:47 am

“..Gavin Newsom’s “no more gasoline cars sold by 2035” edict isn’t practical, sustainable, or sensible…”

Insane or nuts are better words for it.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
October 2, 2020 8:32 pm

I also doubt that it is legal. We’ll see what happens.

Old planning engineer
October 2, 2020 12:40 pm

As a retired electricity planning engineer from Australia where these things have actually been thought about:
– Daily peak demand is unlikely to have a major impact on the grid given the time frames involved. EV’s are parked somewhere during the day and will be charged then: probably using wireless charging through resonance circuits.
– Again, given the time frames involved it is highly likely that the charging circuits will have sufficient smarts that they will refuse to charge at times when the Electricity Distribution Companies cannot support the demand. EV’s will simply have a lower priority than other domestic or public circuits. What this will do to public support for EV’s is a question that the polly’s haven’t thought through.
– There will need to be significant upgrades in older areas; especially in blocks of units sharing the same LV feeds. In places like Sydney this will become a major issue as non EV owners will be asked to pay for these upgrades by EV owners through body corporate fees.
– EV batteries will be used to support the grid over short term events (minutes to maybe 1 hour) which will reduce the short term unreliability of wind and solar. The technical term is FCAS. This is one of the few real benefits of EV’s.

In my opinion, the real problems with supporting large scale EV rollouts in most markets come from trying to satisfy seasonal power demands as these will be accentuated by the relatively constant nature of vehicle use. In some countries where long term energy storage is plentiful such as Norway and New Zealand through their hydro lakes this wont be much of an issue. However in countries where long term energy storage is relatively rare – such as the US and the U.K. good luck with getting sufficient generating capacity at an economic cost – especially if you are planning on using non dispatchable power such as PV and Wind.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Old planning engineer
October 2, 2020 8:44 pm

Resonance circuits? Really? Are you a big fan of Tesla’s (the original) broadcast power, too? There’s no gain (pardon the pun) to be had over cabled charging since the transmitter still needs to be in close proximity to the receiver. In the end, it doesn’t matter. You can’t get all the GW-hr you need from the current system.

Reply to  Old planning engineer
October 4, 2020 4:28 am
Baby El
October 2, 2020 12:49 pm

Hi Anthony,

I take issue with your numbers. Yes, the Tesla takes 62KWH to charge, but that yields perhaps 250 miles.
So, you should divide the charge amount by the amount of days the charge should last to yield the daily charge.

If you agree, I would be interested in the revised findings.


Steve Z
October 2, 2020 12:52 pm

It’s not even clear that Ravin’ Gavin’s executive order would even reduce CO2 emissions very much. If it takes 62 kWh (or 223 MJ) of electricity to recharge for a range of 192 miles (per Mike Smith), that’s about 1.16 MJ per mile.

If the electricity comes from natural gas, the heating value of methane is about 49 MJ/kg. If the overall efficiency of the power plant and transmission lines is about 30%, about 1.16 / 49 / 0.30 = 0.079 kg, or 79 grams of methane would have to be burned per mile, resulting in the emission of 79 / 16 * 44 = 217 g of CO2 per mile driven.

Most ICE cars can get at least 25 miles per gallon of gasoline, which has a density of roughly 2.8 kg/gallon, requiring the burning of 112 g of gasoline per mile driven. Gasoline contains about 85 wt% carbon, and burning 12 g of carbon produces 44 g of CO2, so that an ICE car emits 112 * 0.85 * 44/12 = 349 g CO2 / mile.

Using all-electric cars would reduce the CO2 emissions from driving by about 38%, but it would definitely increase the load on gas-fired power plants, and California already has problems providing enough power for the peak loads on hot summer afternoons (when hydro can’t provide much because the dams are dry).

If Ravin’ Gavin is worried about CO2 emissions, a better solution would be to mandate hybrid cars, which have a small gasoline engine which can charge the battery while braking, and the electric motor can be used alone for low-speed driving (and the gasoline engine turns off while stopped in traffic). I have a 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid which averages about 42 miles per gallon, meaning that its CO2 emissions (compared to a 25 mpg car) would be 349 * 25 / 42 = 208 g CO2 / mile, which is less than the CO2 emissions from the natural gas burned to produce electric power for a Tesla (217 g CO2 / mile).

And Ravin’ Gavin wouldn’t need any more power plants.

John Hardy
October 2, 2020 12:56 pm

Anthony – even as an EV enthusiast, I am quite against government mandating what people can drive.

However I think you give a hostage to fortune when you say “If each vehicle needs an average of 62 kilowatt-hours for a full charge, then the total charging power required daily would be 3,750,000 x 62 KWh, which equals 232,500,000 KWh, or 232.5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) daily.”. 62 kw-hrs is about 250 miles. The average californian driver covers less than 40 miles a day – so we are talking about having to recharge a 62 kw-hr car littke more than once a week

CD in Wisconsin
October 2, 2020 1:03 pm

“…Bottom-line, under the most optimistic best-case scenario, where solar operates at 100% of rated capacity (it seldom does), it would take every single bit of the 2040 utility-scale solar and rooftop capacity just to charge the cars during the day…”

With all this number crunching, I was wondering what kind of capacity factor for all those panels we are talking about here. If it is 100%, the picture being painted here is one of a potential total disaster even if the 100% capacity factor is achieved on rare ocassion. More like 30-40% on a regular basis I would guess.

The biggest impediment to human well-being and progress is its own stupidity.

Jeffery P
October 2, 2020 1:12 pm

So California doesn’t have enough electricity now but wants everybody to drive electric cars? Will people drive to Utah to get a recharge?

Tim Gorman
October 2, 2020 1:20 pm

Vehicles are a commodity sold in interstate commerce. No state has the power to regulate interstate commerce, that is solely the purview of the federal government. States can tax the sale of the commodity or even charge for licensing the ownership of the commodity but it can’t prevent interstate commerce from being carried out.

The first time a Ford dealer in CA imports a new Ford F-250 ICE pickup from Michigan and sells it to a CA resident Newsome is going to find the federal government sitting on his chest asking just what in Pete’s name he’s doing screwing around with interstate commerce.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Tim Gorman
October 3, 2020 12:25 am

Interestingly, Ford is introducing a hybrid F-150 next year. Evidently, it is pretty awesome in terms of power and performance. It also has, standard, an auxiliary electric generator that you can use to power a work site, or a camp site, or even your house in the event of a power failure. The generator will run 2 weeks, IIRC, on a full tank of gas. If the article is correct, this generator will be standard equipment on all Ford trucks. My understanding is that this is a plug-in hybrid, so it will be far more flexible than a straight plug-in electric.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
October 4, 2020 3:58 am

A great way to deal with the 10 years of PSPS’s the state has planned for those of us who live in the foothills! Dragging our large Honda generator off the porch is getting to be rather old.

Wonder if BMW is going working on a way to get their I3 rex to provide VTH power…

Alan Chew
October 2, 2020 1:45 pm

Have made one basic error in your assumptions. That is not all cars will recharge every day. T
Perhaps (on average), every five days would e realistic.
Your basic concept is correct of course. I think you need to redo the numbers.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Alan Chew
October 2, 2020 4:12 pm

I suspect most people will train themselves to recharge every night. If they don’t train themselves to do that then the likelihood of forgetting to recharge when one is needed goes way up. That could mean anything from not being able to get to work in the morning to not being able to evacuate when the next fire gets close to being in the middle of a blackout and unable to charge when you need to so (darn! I should have recharged yesterday!)

It may not matter much to an urbanite but out here in rural America you learn to keep your tank topped off. You never know when you will need it and its a long walk to the gas station. It won’t be any different with an EV except there won’t be any walking to a charging station to get a bucket of electricity.

October 2, 2020 2:04 pm

The fallacy of this article is that it someone or something will still work in California under a Newsome regime.

William Haas
October 2, 2020 2:08 pm

I cannot afford any of this. I need the State of California to provide me with, free of charge, two electric cars and three roof top solar energy systems installed at three different houses. The solar energy systems must include batteries so that the electric cars can be changed at night. The cars must have enough batteries to provide at least a 500 mile range. The state must pay for all of this but I will end up owning it all free from any additional property taxes. I am sure that all of California’s problems will be solved as soon as high speed rail service is provided between Bakersfield and Fresno neither of which are cities that I plan to travel to or through.

James P
October 2, 2020 2:58 pm

I have no doubt this plan is wholly impracticable and I hope the people of the state have the sense not to stand for it. However in fairness I do understand that most EVs are not in need of a full recharge every day as most people don’t drive that many daily miles, so the daily charge load of a 25% fleet wouldnt be quite as high as the 232.5 Gw per day assumed. (apologies if this point has already been made above)

October 2, 2020 4:11 pm

During the frequent “Flex Alert” incidents this summer, CalISO and the local utilities (Edison, DWP) have been telling us not to charge EVs as well as not using AC, refrigerators, washer/dryer, dishwashers, and basically any electricity when the temps are in the 100s. It gets hot every summer and it seems a terrific dilemma when solar is generating at its highest capacity whilst utility agencies are telling us to not use the electricity.

Reply to  PV
October 4, 2020 4:04 am

It seems a few agencies are thinking of ways to deal with the excess energy being generated behind the meter.

October 2, 2020 4:13 pm

Some bad ideas never die, they just get recycled.
Governor Newsome’s directive is one of these bad ideas.
Old Planning Engineer has given here the Australian view accurately from an engineering standpoint.
From the perspective of the man in the street, the Australian experience is worth noting.
Before the last Federal Election in May 2019 the Opposition Australian Labor Party announced to much fanfare its policy for electric cars as part of its environmental policies.
These included a commitment to have 50% electric vehicles in the country by 2030.
A fund of A57 million dollars (!) was set aside for R&D to achieve this.
The Government opposed the scheme as impractical, enormously expensive and overriding personal choice.
After considerable public ridicule, the leader of the Opposition was driven to acknowledging that the policy was merely “aspirational”.
His inability to give any credible costing for Labor’s environmental policy to combat climate change and his attacks ( or silence) on the Indian owned Adani coal mine in Queensland are widely seen as a major reason for Labor losing the Federal election.
However Australia is not California where as the California Institute of Public Policy records (see this thread) some 77% of Californians support nearly every idea from Governor Newsome to reduce fossil fuel emissions etc. and support the environment no matter the cost.
That assumes that the State bears the cost or only a minimal personal cost is involved.

October 2, 2020 5:04 pm

Anthony and Willis you need to redo your math.

Those Statista figures are off by a mile. According to the CA DMV there were over 26 million cars and over 6 million trucks registered in the state in 2019. I would bet there’s close to 100,000 or more across the state that aren’t registered so that number could be added too. I’ve seen numerous cars/PU trucks in CA that have expired plates with some of them being expired beyond a year.

In this CA DMV link they say the figures are estimates but I bet they are very close to the actual numbers or at least much, much closer than what Statista is indicating.

Great post regardless.

October 2, 2020 5:35 pm

“Even if we add homeowner rooftop solar, about half the utility-scale, at 40 GWh/day we come up to 200 GW/h per day”

Such a nice phrase that just sounds so good…

The last time I dug into the various reports seeking where and what “homeowner rooftop solar” is and how it is counted was very disappointing.

A) The majority of “homeowner rooftop solar” is thermal. i.e. used to heat water. Government has formulae to convert their estimates of solar thermal into comparable BTU.

B) Once installed, “homeowner rooftop solar” exists and produces forever. There is no such thing as failed/removed/inoperable etc.
That is; government entities use “homeowner rooftop solar” coupled with incremental increases to fill out their “solar” claims.

Unless “homeowner rooftop solar” is specifically identified as generating electricity to charge vehicles and used to calculate any portion of supplying the required “232.5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) daily.”.

Greg Locock
October 2, 2020 5:52 pm

” If each vehicle needs an average of 62 kilowatt-hours for a full charge, then the total charging power required daily would be 3,750,000 x 62 KWh, which equals 232,500,000 KWh, or 232.5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) daily.”
I’m sure someone has pointed out that this implies an annual mileage of 80000 miles for every EV. This does not seem likely.

Chris Morris
October 2, 2020 11:07 pm

You get exactly the same numbers if rather than the 25% fleet being fully charged every night, then there was a 100% fleet (like mandated) which was fully charged every 4th night.
And it takes a lot more than 62kWh power from the grid to fully charge a 62kWh battery from flat, especially if it is rapid charged.

John Furst
October 3, 2020 5:23 am

As a retired engineer for an electric utility, I really enjoy the attempt at calculations and the use o magical phrases like “reduce climate change”, “just add charging at work..”, or the all time favorite “the government will do it!”
If the goal is “climate change”, show the amount of CO2 reduced for every “fix” AND the temperature reduction expected at the local, state, Or USA level WITH all associated costs of continuing 24/7 reliable electric service…NO magic or hidden costs!
$ / action= T reduction (local,state, USA)
Compile in a table , with notations of methods, sources

Perhaps we can all contribute a list of actions and cost elements… under action, claimed costs, missing or hidden costs, who pays, T reduction( local, state, USA, earth)

You’re welcome.
Feel free to begin.
Volunteers to compile?

Glenn Beachy
Reply to  John Furst
October 3, 2020 4:51 pm

I am also a retired electric utility engineer, and I am amused by the simplistic assumptions that go into these exercises.

Build 100,000 plus wind turbines? No consideration of the massive demand on resources such as concrete, steel, copper, rare earth elements, plastics, etc. All of these resources require fossil fuels and vast mining operations to produce. And basing assumptions on “average” power production is meaningless. Wind turbines spend 5% to 15% of the time producing at or near full rated output, which is about 4 times the “average ” production. This which would flood the grid with excess power. And 10% to 30% of the time producing nothing. As in Zero. And furthermore, the dispatchability or ability to schedule this variable output is also near Zero.

PV Solar is the same- producing power on average about 40% of the hours in a day (assuming no clouds) with a mid- day peak at rated output. The other 60% of the time output is nothing. As in Zero. At least this daily cycle is relatively predictable, except for weather related impacts- which could turn a promising day into- again- near Zero. And Solar panels make their own unique demands on resources.

Do not even think of batteries to solve this problem. Stored energy would need to be sufficient to support the grid for 5- 7- 10 days if we are to maintain a modern secure standard of living. That much battery capacity would require orders of magnitude more resources than the wind and solar systems they would serve. And the energy to recharge them would need to come from somewhere. The times when wind and solar “overproduce” would likely not be enough, so even more generating capacity would be required.

The only practical backup solution would be fossil fuel plants on standby to provide on short notice the reserve power needed. They can easily store in solid, liquid, or gas forms the fuel needed for any period of backup required. This is how they are designed to operate.

This describes exactly the type of plants which California is planning to shut down.


Reply to  Glenn Beachy
October 4, 2020 8:51 am

Sorry I’m just a lowly physicist, but I tried to follow. And I believe you’ve both left out perhaps the biggest most crucial point. Wind turbines and solar panels NEVER EVEN OFFSET the energy required to make and install them. So at the end of the day the entire net result of all of these ridiculous schemes would be USING MORE ENERGY THAN YOU WOULD HAVE USED IN ANY OTHER SCENARIO. And generating more CO2.
Only one thing you can say to that:

October 3, 2020 7:26 am

…”In barely one generation, that California was swept away and transformed into a left-liberal one-party state, the most economically unequal and socially divided in the country, ostensibly run by a cadre of would-be Solons in Sacramento and in the courts, but really by oligarchic power concentrated in a handful of industries, above all Big Tech and Big Hollywood.”

Reply to  Kramer
October 3, 2020 7:47 am

Uh, you mean the 6th happiest US state? THAT state?

We winter on the central coast every year, and sure makes US happy.

Feel free to push for the state to divide up into 3. But equal populations, please. What we don’t need is 4 more senators representing way less than an order of magnitude of US residents than others. We are already regressed enough by the “Every 10 acres gets a vote” electoral college….

Reply to  bigoilbob
October 4, 2020 8:54 am

Yeah but those people are just happy to not be in the third world shithole they immigrated from illegally. This is not happiness by any real standard. How many ‘Americans’ live in California? Fewer every day.

Reply to  Dutch
October 4, 2020 9:55 am

How many ‘Americans’ live in California? Fewer every day.”

Read back and see the trend I posted of undocs into Cal. It’s DOWN. The leavers are them, and US citizens with a BS or less. Yes, the Cal population will flatten, but that’s the way it should be. Cal is brightsizing, and will becauseof AGW, they can no longer support the flight to Cal wilderness areas. The remainders – the best and brightest of us from all over the world – will just get happier and happier.

But if you’re happier in a 5000 ft^2 “bargain” McMansion in Texas, next to smoldering fertilizer factory, in the midst of the carcinogenic corridor, KYSO. Must admit, gas is cheaper there. As for me, SO happy that my g’kids are getting raised in the SF bay area. They already academically outshine their Missouri 2nd cousins…..

Blank Reg
October 4, 2020 5:48 am

I would be curious to see an analysis of how the “work from home” crowd, which is steadily increasing, would factor into the demand equations. I live in FL, but only a recent transplant from the the NE. I lived in the Peoples Democratic Republic of New York for 18 years, where I commuted to Midtown mostly by rail.

But the point I want to make is that, as of now, and due in equal parts to Cover, Antifa/BLM, and the communist mayor’s response to all, people are fleeing, specifically those that make the city economically viable – office workers. Everyone is “working from home” now, which many employers realized was actually a cost saving boon. 20 years ago, if you got 1-2 mb/sec of download speed, you were lucky, but you still couldn’t have sustained a Zoom meeting at those low speeds. Today 20 mb/s is considered low end, it ranges, depending on venue, infrastructure and relative demand, 30mb – 90mb. More than enough to sustain a Zoom meeting with a few dozen people at a time.

Those office spaces in Manhattan are only at about 10% capacity, and no one thinks that is coming back.

A “work from home” person would not need his/her EV for a daily commute, and would draw far less from the grid to sustain it. If the average office workforce in/around the CA urban centers were even 25% work-from-home staff, that would make a significant dent in the equations.

(Even so, just to be clear, I’m not a fan of mad dictators, regardless of what policy is being considered.)

Blank Reg
Reply to  Blank Reg
October 4, 2020 5:49 am

“Covid”, not “Cover”…I missed that on review. Sorry.

October 4, 2020 8:42 am

If you’ve ever driven I_40 across the Az/NM desert at night you’ve probably seen the endless caravan of semi trucks delivering goods from the East to the West Coast states. You may have a guess what this looks like but until you’ve seen it it’s unimaginable. I’m talking about a solid line of semis, filling both lanes, bumper to bumper in a chain 50-100 miles long. This happens NIGHTLY. Now what is going to happen when every one of those trucks gets stopped and turned away at the border because the trucks run on diesel fuel? Leaving 35 million people without food or basic goods. I’ll tell you the FIRST thing that will happen.
People will eat the governor.

Chris Ewdards
October 6, 2020 6:46 pm

Js there even enough rare earth minerals to supply california ?? and where will tnetax revenue Nausious Newsome currently enjoys for fossil fuels going tocome from?

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