The Coming Future of Electric Vehicles: Something Here Does Not Add Up


Francis Menton

Supposedly, we are rapidly on our way toward a zero-carbon, all electric energy future. But has anybody done the arithmetic to see if this adds up?

I’m carving myself out a niche as the guy who does a few simple calculations to check if the grand schemes of our central planners make any sense. So far I’ve taken that approach to the question of energy storage to back up a wind/solar electricity grid, and on that one the schemes of the central planners most definitely do not add up. But the energy storage question, although involving no math beyond basic arithmetic, does have some complexities. How about something somewhat simpler, like: If we convert our entire automobile fleet to all-electric cars, where is the electricity going to come from?

With the big push currently on to get rid of internal combustion vehicles and replace them with electrics, surely someone has done the calculations to be sure that the electricity supply will be ample. Actually, that does not appear to be the case. Once again, the central planners have no idea what they are doing.

A few things in the recent news make this issue highly topical. First, in the days just before Christmas, much of the country experienced a severe cold snap. Severe, that is, but not record-breaking. Almost everywhere that had very cold temperatures during those days had had even colder temperatures in the past, not necessarily every year, but multiple times over the course of decades. Second, several utilities found themselves with insufficient electricity to meet demand, and had to impose rolling blackouts on their customers, even in the face of freezing cold temperatures. Examples of utilities imposing rolling blackouts during the severe cold wave included Duke Energy (covering most of North and South Carolina, and parts of Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky) and TVA (covering all of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky). Both of those utilities, and many others, have spent the last decade and more shuttering reliable coal power plants, and building lots of wind turbines and solar panels, along with some (but obviously not enough) natural gas plants, as replacements.

As of today, electric vehicles are a tiny fraction of all vehicles (less than 1% in the U.S., says Reuters as of February 2022), particularly in these Midwestern and Southern states. Yet even with only the tiniest level of electricity demand coming from electric vehicles, already major utilities are short of electricity when a not-out-of-the-ordinary cold snap hits.

And now, where are things headed in the near future? The Wall Street Journal had a big piece with a January 1 date (it appeared in the print edition on January 3) about the coming rush of electric vehicles, headline “Shift to EVs Triggers Biggest Auto-Factory Building Boom in Decades.” The gist is that the industry is gearing up to build factories at a breakneck pace for the imminent supply of electric cars for all. Excerpt:

The U.S. auto industry is entering one of its biggest factory-building booms in years, a surge of spending largely driven by the shift to electric vehicles and new federal subsidies aimed at boosting U.S. battery manufacturing.  Through November, about $33 billion in new auto-factory investment has been pledged in the U.S., including money for the construction of new assembly plants and battery-making facilities, according to the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit organization based in Michigan. . . . The capital outlays amount to a collective bet by the car industry that buyers will embrace battery-powered models in numbers large enough to support these investments. The global auto industry plans to spend a collective $526 billion on electric vehicles through 2026, according to consulting firm AlixPartners.

Whew! It’s the total transformation of the industry, from internal combustion engines to battery-electric. And if you look at the websites of the manufacturers themselves, they are almost all saying that they are committed to the rapid conversion to electric vehicles, with all internal-combustion manufacturing banished by some early date. Here is GM on its “path to an all-electric future” (by 2035); and here is Ford’s claim that it will “lead America’s shift to electric vehicles” (50% by 2030!). Numerous other manufacturers are making comparable claims.

OK, then, how much electricity is this going to take? I’ll start with this handy (if somewhat complicated) chart from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing production (by source) and use (by sector) of all energy in the U.S. for the year 2021 (I do not find a chart for 2022 available as of yet.):

Here are a few key number from this chart:

  • The total amount of energy consumed in the U.S. in 2021 is given as 73.5 quadrillion Btus.
  • Of the 73.5 quadrillion Btus consumed, only 12.9 quadrillion Btus was in the form of electricity. That’s only 17.6% of total energy consumption.
  • Almost all of the electricity was consumed in the household, commercial and industrial sectors, and almost none (less than 1%) in the transportation sector.
  • The transportation sector consumed 26.9 quadrillion Btus of energy. That’s 37% of total energy consumption — and more than double the entire amount of electricity consumed in all sectors.

OK, but the transportation sector is a lot more than just automobiles. It also includes everything from airplanes to freight trains to ocean shipping. What part of that 26.9 quadrillion Btus of energy in the transportation sector consisted of automobiles and light trucks (like SUVs and pick-ups) which are the things that are supposedly about to get electrified? Looking around, I find something called the Transportation Energy Data Book, put out by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory — another part (like the EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are two key facts from the introductory “Quick Facts” section: (1) “Petroleum comprised 90% of U.S. transportation energy use in 2020,” and (2) “Cars and light trucks accounted for 62% of U.S. transportation petroleum use in 2018.”

Assuming that those percentages held approximately true for 2021, then cars and light trucks consumed approximately some 26.9 x 0.9 x 0.62 = 15.0 quadrillion Btus in the form of gasoline or diesel in 2021 — well more than the entire amount of energy consumed in the country in that year in the form of electricity.

So have we now shown that converting all cars and light trucks to electric would require more than doubling the size of our electricity generation system? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. There are a few other factors that need to be taken into account. Unfortunately, these additional factors are not subject to a great deal of precision, and can only be fairly rough approximations:

  • Electric vehicles have about 85-90% efficiency in translating the stored energy in the battery into movement of the vehicle. That compares to only about 15-25% efficiency of ICE vehicles. That is a large difference.
  • However, two other factors offset that advantage. One is that the batteries of electric vehicles experience an approximate 15% loss of charge in the turnaround between charge and discharge. The other is that the process of producing electricity in a power plant is in the range of 35-50% efficient, depending on the type of power plant. Some of the latest power plants even claim upwards of 50% efficiency, but note that the EIA chart above shows that the overall efficiency of electricity production in the U.S. is 35% (which also includes losses in transmission).

Put these factors together, and here is the calculation:

For an internal combustion vehicle, if you start with 10 Btus of energy in gasoline, you get about 2 Btus of motion from your car.

For an electric vehicle, if you start with the same 10 Btus of fuel, you get 10 x 0.35 = 3.5 Btus of usable electricity, 3.5 x 0.85 = 3.0 Btus of electricity in your battery after charging losses, and 3.0 x 0.87 = 2.6 Btus of motion from your car.

So overall, and remembering that this is approximate, an all-electric car and light truck fleet can run on about three-quarters (2 divided by 2.6) the number of Btus of energy input as can a comparable internal combustion-powered fleet. Instead of the 15 quadrillion Btus annually that we use for our current ICE vehicles, we could theoretically get it down to 11.25 quadrillion Btus, which would produce 11.25 x .35 = 3.93 quadrillion Btus of electricity to run the vehicles.

Recall that the current amount of electricity produced annually in the U.S., from the chart above, is 12.9 quadrillion Btus. So the additional 3.93 quadrillion Btus of electricity would represent approximately a 30.5% addition to the current capacity of our electricity generation system.

Are there any plans afoot for anything like that? Here’s another chart from EIA showing their projections of growth in U.S. electricity generation capacity out to 2050, from their 2022 Annual Energy Outlook:

Basically, after the current rebound from the 2020-21 Covid-induced decline, they project 1% annual increase in consumption as far as the eye can see. The “high economic growth” and “low economic growth” scenarios do not differ meaningfully from the median “reference” case. This growth includes growing demand for everything, including from growing population and every sort of new electric gizmo that might be invented over the period. And note that this projection, at least for the earlier years, is largely based on the plans of utilities to add capacity — or not. And to the extent anyone is adding capacity, it is likely to be wind and solar, which will be completely useless for charging these vehicles on calm nights and lots of other times.

So where is the surge in generation capacity to support a 30% or so additional need for electricity to electrify all cars? It sure doesn’t look to me like it is there.

For the full story click here.

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January 10, 2023 6:03 am

You have to go to Hollywood to get the story.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Scissor
January 10, 2023 10:42 am

There, and Washington DC to find the looney Leftists that swallow every woke ejecta.

Javier Vinós
January 10, 2023 6:11 am

We are not supposed to own cars. That’s the 2030 Agenda. You will own nothing and will be happy about it.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  Javier Vinós
January 10, 2023 7:27 am

Oh you can own a car, you just won’t be able to charge it.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Matt Kiro
January 10, 2023 11:23 am


Reply to  Matt Kiro
January 10, 2023 7:32 pm

Or drive it.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Javier Vinós
January 10, 2023 8:12 am

“You will own nothing and will be happy about it”

Yes, and everyone will be working from home. Since labor is less expensive in developing countries most of the manufacturing and high-tech labor will be outsourced to workers there. Of course expendable income will follow the labor force thus leaving the current developed countries no longer developed.

Reply to  Javier Vinós
January 10, 2023 10:38 am

Right, you won’t have an electric car, those are for the rich important people, the elites.

A few years back (also featured here on WUWT) the NPR dream for a renewable energy future. There they spilled the truth, no car for you, electricity is to precious….

“So, you want an autonomous vehicle? Bless your heart, but it costs you more to drive that autonomous vehicle on the road by yourself. If you ride-share, it’s a little bit less.””And this is even if they are electric vehicles?” I ask.
“Even more if they’re electric vehicles!” Hoornweg says. Personal electric cars for everyone couldn’t solve the problem, he explains. First of all, electricity is precious. We can’t waste it powering everybody’s electric car.”

They want to restrict your mobility, your liberty, to keep you in your neighborhood zone, (like Oxford plans to do) easy to control. If people saw the impossibility, no- improbability of their EV and renewable scheme, there would be far more protest against the climate nonsense.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  a_scientist
January 10, 2023 11:26 am

Just imagine if they actually managed to cram their utopian “green” society down everyone’s throats, only to find that the climate just keeps changing anyway, because it was never “driven” by us to begin with!

Elliot W
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
January 10, 2023 12:40 pm

They have already stated that all this has nothing to do with “climate change”, but with so-called social justice and wealth redistribution.

Reply to  Javier Vinós
January 10, 2023 12:18 pm

Many of the predictions in that article have already failed long may more fail, and the WEF rot in hell for all eternity

January 10, 2023 6:47 am

EVs are getting something of a bad press in the UK at the moment.

“Something Here Does Not Add Up”

Well, not the way the alarmists would have it, anyway.

“a couple of miles from home, when a message flashed up on the dash: “Assisted braking not available — proceed with caution.” Then: “Steering control unavailable.”
And then, as I inched off the dual carriageway at our turnoff, begging it to make the last mile, children weeping at the scary noises coming from both car and father: “Gearbox fault detected.” CLUNK. WHIRRR. CRACK.
And dead. Nothing. Poached elephant. I called Jaguar Assist (there is a button in the roof that does it directly — most useful feature on the car) who told me they could have a mechanic there in four hours (who would laugh and say, “Can’t help you, pal. You’ve got a software issue there. I’m just a car mechanic. And this isn’t a car, it’s a laptop on wheels.”)

And here’s the kicker…

“It now costs more to run an electric car on public chargers than it does a petrol one as prices soar by nearly 60%”

It has shown how crucial home charging is in persuading motorists to make the switch to EVs. It has also prompted the national campaign group Faircharge, backed by the RAC, to call on the government to cut VAT on public chargers from 20% to 5% – the same as household energy.”

Funny thing is we pay tax on the fuel and then VAT on top of that – that’s 20% of fuel + fuel duty and still an EV costs more 

Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 7:00 am

Sometimes you have to take the battery out of the laptop and then put it back in.

Reply to  Scissor
January 10, 2023 7:05 am

Can you hear Jaguar asking: “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again”?

Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 7:09 am

Try typing RUN in the command box.

Reply to  Scissor
January 10, 2023 7:19 am

Cycle the Big Red Switch.

Reply to  karlomonte
January 10, 2023 7:27 am

LOL. Maybe you have to press the brake, accelerator and turn the ignition at the same time.

Reply to  Scissor
January 11, 2023 1:33 pm

And don’t forget to lay the finger aside of the nose…

Lee Riffee
Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 2:23 pm

How about “This car has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.”

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Scissor
January 10, 2023 11:29 am

They don’t just incorporate a manual “blade” style disconnect for breaking connection with the “juice” any more? Seems like it would be a lot easier, especially for “rebooting” of worse-than-useless BEVs.

Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 7:23 am

a Jaguar , Jaguar ?

you bought british engineering?


things you never buy

chinese medical equipment
british cars

Japanese audio gear
russian aircraft.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 8:45 am

British cars?

Do your homework….

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 9:31 am

things you never buy

IPCC Summaries For Policymakers?

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 9:38 am

things you never buy

chinese medical equipment
british cars
Japanese audio gear
russian aircraft.
argument from academic w/ lit degree

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 12:25 pm

The Jaguar i-Pace is made in Graz, Austria under contract.

John Endicott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 12, 2023 10:16 am

things you never buy
chinese medical equipment
british cars
Japanese audio gear
russian aircraft.
words of “wisdom” from drive-by posters

Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 8:20 am


David Dibbell
January 10, 2023 6:52 am

Good article. Keep doing the math. It shows the insanity of accelerating down this same path.

January 10, 2023 6:58 am

EV’s are usually charged by using electricity generated by the so-called ‘fossil fuels’. Vehicles travel 24X7 but the sun and wind don’t operate 24X7, so there will NEVER be a switchover. It is a physical impossibility. Not to mention that the copper and other materials required for EV’s are being consumed faster than it is being mined, thus will continue to increase in price. There will come a plateau where the growth rate of EV’s drops to zero.

Reply to  jshotsky
January 10, 2023 7:14 am

Not to mention that the copper and other materials required for EV’s are being consumed faster than it is being mined

Do you have streetlighting?

Slow charging via lamp columns (lamp posts)
Ubitricity lamp column charging is currently installed and maintained by Siemens under contract to the council.

If you can park next to one….

Last edited 2 months ago by strativarius
Peta of Newark
Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 7:28 am

It would mean parking on the pavement – is soon to be made Totally Illegal
Would also mean running an electricity cable across the pavement which is already illegal

Reply to  Peta of Newark
January 10, 2023 8:13 am

But they do it just the same. You can’t charge from a terraced house without a cable crossing the pavement

Dave Fair
Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 11:03 am

Until you piss off your neighbor. [Of course, that’s neighbour if you live in a terraced house.]

Dave Fair
Reply to  strativarius
January 10, 2023 10:59 am

Imagine the street battles and vandalism by individuals and groups protecting “their” charging sites. You wind up with the stronger and more violent favored people “owning” public property.

Consider also the suburban reality that one may not culturally occupy the curbside in front of another’s home on an extended basis. Now, how does one handle “squatters” curbside of apartment complexes and small businesses? Old West range wars come to mind.

Joe Shaw
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 10, 2023 4:30 pm

Yeah, that possibility does seem to raise some questions about the wisdom of the “you should mate with short people and produce smaller, weaker children” advice the NYT was proffering just the other day.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Joe Shaw
January 10, 2023 4:59 pm

The Founding Fathers of the U.S. Constitution solved that problem with the 2nd Amendment. A 90 pound woman holding a 9mm semi-auto will make Duane Johnson back off.

Joe Shaw
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 10, 2023 5:59 pm

I completely agree, but the same folks who plan to completely overhaul society in the name of saving the planet also intend to eliminate or undermine the 2nd Amendment. They have had limited success so far but they have not given up.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 10, 2023 10:08 pm

Like the war of dueling snowblowers filling in each other’s driveways that happened in Oshawa, Ontario, a few years ago. Came to blows they did. Cops called.

Reply to  jshotsky
January 10, 2023 7:21 am

Storage propaganda is ramping up and may be effective for the theft of a couple of trillion or more for the “transition” which can never physically occur in reality for the reasons you point out.

All of this will leave most people poorer, less able to afford food and energy. The kleptocrats nevertheless get richer.

Reply to  jshotsky
January 10, 2023 7:21 am

And how long will all the US auto manufacturers remain gung-ho about battery cars after the Fed. money ceases (which it will at some point)?

Dave Fair
Reply to  karlomonte
January 10, 2023 11:08 am

Federal money never ceases. That is true on any timeframe relevant to the lifespan of humans. The adverse impacts of unlimited Federal spending are, however, cumulative.

Your children will curse you for your greed and fecklessness.

Reply to  karlomonte
January 10, 2023 1:51 pm

The Toyota CEO is on record recently saying that manufacturers are already having behind the scenes discussions/reservations…..

Words to that effect

J Boles
January 10, 2023 7:11 am

Anyone watch Detroit Auto news with John McElroy on Detroit PBS? He really pushes the battery powered cars, I guess he is a liberal, and that is what he is told to push. They had better get that NUCLEAR FUSION POWER going soon so we have enough electrons to make it all happen. It will never happen, IMHO.

January 10, 2023 7:15 am

Here in Kalifornia, EV owners are encouraged to charge at night. Nobody seems to have noticed that output from our plentiful solar panels is zero at that time. Currently, at least, Kalifornia has very little wind power (a few GW on a good night). All those Tesla’s are basically running on natural gas power.

Reply to  honestyrus
January 10, 2023 6:16 pm

Here in Oz, we have a new Prime Minister, Albo, who sprooks the wonders of being able to charge your EV overnight from your solar panels.. Either he hasn’t heard that the sun goes to beddy byes at night or he thinks it just a simple matter of putting in a battery (larger than in the EV) to be charged during the day, and then transferring that energy (at yet another loss) to the EV for overnight charging.. (while running the rest of the house overnight).. Obviously, it CAN be done, but at WHAT COST and what efficiency… Wake Up Albo !!

Reply to  kevc114
January 10, 2023 7:40 pm

spruiks ?

Reply to  Hivemind
January 10, 2023 10:15 pm

… that too.

January 10, 2023 7:17 am

so the “central planners” have not thought about the equirements to transition from ICE to EV?

brilliant, theres your market opportunity.


More Soylent Green!
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 10:14 am

Why do you believe this is a good thing? If demand were entirely market-driven then it’s an opportunity.

Mike Dombroski
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 12:04 pm
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 3:21 pm

Fascinating how the socialist actually believes that government mandates are the same thing as market demand.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 10, 2023 3:54 pm

Government central planners are REQUIRING a transition that is not economical or efficient.

Why provide a 2 year old article?

Without the massive manipulation of new electricity generation non-capacity of unreliables by provided massive subsidies, tax credits and forced purchasing of output, there would be no grid issues and there would be electricity for the limited number of EVs on the road.

January 10, 2023 7:17 am

BTUs, are you kidding me? When is the US Dept. of ENERGY going to figure out that the SI unit for ENERGY is the Joule? Sheesh. And no one in electrical transmission and distribution uses BTUs. They use kWh, which also is a non-SI unit, but at least it is easily converted to Joules.

Maybe the DoE should be using horsepower? A bazillion horsepower, great unit, yeah! Then they would know how many horses are going to be needed when the electricity goes to (net) zero.

Reply to  karlomonte
January 10, 2023 7:32 am

Everything is trending asymptotically to one horse power.

Reply to  Scissor
January 10, 2023 9:12 am

Everything is trending toward manpower (slavery).

Reply to  karlomonte
January 10, 2023 9:13 am

The metric system is the tool of the Devil! My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and that’s the way I like it!

Reply to  karlomonte
January 10, 2023 11:44 am

In a universe where measurements can be converted with simple formula, the act of complaining about the use of one unit of measurement versus another seems infantile.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  karlomonte
January 10, 2023 8:02 pm

1 BTU ~= 1055 Joules The exact number varies between industries and countries. It is yet another good reason to stick with SI.

A Quad is 1 quadrillion (10E15) BTUs

The prefix E for exa is 10E18 Sec. 4.1 Prefixes • The Unified Code for Units of Measure
1 Quad = 1.055 EJ more or less.

All discussions like this thread are throwing around numbers that will not bear more than 1 or 2 significant digits of accuracy. If you want to you can substitute EJ for Quad without any real loss of accuracy or comprehension.

Part of the problem is that the aggregators of information such as use different units in different places. Part of their problem is that the industries that they gather data from use a hodgepodge of different units. I think that BP issues its annual reports using SI units.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 10, 2023 9:53 pm

Close enough for government work…

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  PCman999
January 11, 2023 7:26 am

In this situation, yes.

January 10, 2023 7:20 am

all electric trucks (particularly long haul) will never be practical

Erik Magnuson
Reply to  menace
January 10, 2023 7:32 am

On the other hand, all electric trains have been around for more than a century. That said, there are two concerns: first the capital cost of installing the wire and second is the need for reliable power.

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
January 10, 2023 8:06 am

Most electric trains don’t have batteries. They get their power via overhead wires connected to the grid. But there are some …

Battery electric multiple unit
Prime advantages of these vehicles is that they do not use fossil fuels such as coal or diesel fuel, emit no exhaust gases and do not require the railway to have expensive infrastructure like electric ground rails or overhead catenary. On the down side is the weight of the batteries, which raises the vehicle weight, and their range before recharging of between 300 and 600 kilometres (186 and 373 mi). Currently, battery electric units have a higher purchase price and running cost than petrol or diesel railcars. One or more charging stations are required along the routes they operate, unless operation is on a mixture of electrified and unelectrified track, with the batteries being charged from the electrified track.

Old Man
Reply to  rovingbroker
January 10, 2023 3:35 pm

Are these the “battery units” that blow up or catch fire?

Just askin’…….

Reply to  rovingbroker
January 10, 2023 7:16 pm

In addition to having short range and being as much as twice as expensive, the biggest problem with electric trains, like electric trucks, is that you have to give up as much as 1/3rd of your carrying capacity. Replacing real freight with the batteries needed to get you anywhere.
There’s also the problem with having to replace your batteries every 7 to 10 years.

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
January 10, 2023 8:16 am

The author has done a good job, but in addition, the cost of all the necessary distribution additions & upgrades for all the electric vehicles is also a big issue. I really don’t have the electrical facilities to charge a car, and I bet most people don’t, so alot of those costs will be up to the consumers.

Dave Fair
Reply to  beng135
January 10, 2023 11:31 am

ALL costs are up to the consumer. Your standard of living takes a hit with every adoption of the latest centralized planning scheme.

You will note that each and every big business public commitment to renewables is conditioned on government subsidies. If you don’t understand the implications of Warren Buffett’s statement on wind energy investments, you deserve to live in the mud hut the WEF has planned for you.

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
January 10, 2023 11:53 am

They have only been “available” inside cities. For the vast majority of trains, electricity is not available.

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
January 10, 2023 10:03 pm

Local passenger trains. Long haul freight trains are diesel electric. There is a reason for that. See if you can guess what it is.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Erik Magnuson
January 10, 2023 10:35 pm

A few battery powered freight locomotives are being trialed on short lines. CN’s subsidiary Bessemer & Lake Erie announced plans to buy one for an iron ore drag from Lake Erie to a mill in Pennsylvania. The state of Pennsylvania gave them a grant to help pay for it. This press release was from Nov 2021. I don’t know if the locomotive entered service
The photo in the press release looks photoshopped. The background appears to be the Canadian Rockies but that is nowhere remotely near where the locomotive is going to be used.

Another one has been bought by an iron-ore company in Australia, to be used in a lashup with conventional diesel-electrics. It will be recharged en route with regenerative braking, which must mean partial recharging, else you are claiming a perpetual motion machine. Perhaps the other units drag it when it needs to be recharged, then it cuts back in when it’s topped up. All looks like virtue signaling plus subsidy harvesting to me.

Union Pacific has ordered 10 to use for switching in freight yards where the recharging issue is easier to deal with and the local air pollution is more relevant. Battery locomotives were widely used in yards back in steam days when local ordinances cracked down on coal smoke.

Reply to  menace
January 10, 2023 7:59 am

Electric trucks are one of the transportation modes that almost makes sense. UPS delivery trucks spend the day on the street and night in the terminal where they can be charged — assuming available power. Their requirements are predictable and repeatable. The power required and capital investment in charging is known and can be spread across a fleet of vehicles … a fleet of known size.

The only electric cars that make sense at this point are those that are home at night and can charge at home. Costly but it works. Works best financially with high miles — think of a salesman or serviceman who drives 100+ miles a day.

It will be a long time before we have a public charging station on every corner (like gas stations today) and universal high-speed charging.

Will there be enough “clean” power to supply the above scenario? Time will tell.

Dave Fair
Reply to  rovingbroker
January 10, 2023 11:34 am

Throw enough money at something, lower your standard of living significantly and anything is possible.

Reply to  rovingbroker
January 10, 2023 11:34 am

I would heavily emphasize almost in that statement “…transportation modes that almost makes sense.” There is an article from 2021 that indicates Penske took delivery of 5 Navistar electric trucks which had a 210kWh battery pack and an approximate 135 mile range. That severely limits the useful range of a delivery vehicle. These vehicles are typically classed as “medium duty” and I haven’t sourced any information about long haul heavy or severe duty vehicles that are operating with an electric fuel component in a commercial fashion. I don’t know that the UPS delivery trucks would be able to still meet their delivery schedules as is currently be operated with such a limited range and with the necessity to recharge their batteries so frequently. Possibly intercity deliveries could “be a thing” but only if the recharge times were commensurate with the refuel times of petroleum based fuel system.

Reply to  cipherstream
January 10, 2023 2:30 pm

More than a few articles have pointed out that, for electric vehicles, actual mileage range is frequently considerably less that advertised mileage range. Also, a not insignificant cost consideration is that there may need to be a one to one relationship between the number of vehicles used by a commercial operation and the number of (expensive) charging stations required to keep those vehicles in operation.

A recent video podcast about the published UK Royal Mail plan to go all electric took the current mail delivery (IC) fleet size and added up the current costs of purchase, maintenance, and running. That was then compared with the (always higher) purchase, maintenance, and running costs of the projected electric fleet (based on current prices), finding a really huge increase (many times 100% increases) in mail delivery costs coming in the (supposedly) near future. Perhaps mail in another things you won’t have in the reset society. Who likes all that junk mail anyway?

Reply to  rovingbroker
January 10, 2023 11:53 am

Local delivery trucks? OK. Long haul trucks – unlikely, without extensive recharging on-the-go!

Reply to  mikelowe2013
January 10, 2023 1:26 pm

Replying to cipherstream …
Headline: Penske dips its toe into electric with five Navistar International eMV trucks

This truly is a drop in the bucket, seeing how Penske’s fleet consists of more than 350,000 vehicles.

Once again … Electrification currently makes no sense for long-haul trucking. It may make sense for local/delivery use like your brown UPS delivery truck.

And … in general the arrow of progress points forward.

Old Man
Reply to  mikelowe2013
January 10, 2023 3:45 pm

How about electric company service trucks or other emergency vehicles, even police cars and paddy wagons? . Can you imagine a response to a 911 call: “Sorry, we’ll be there as soon as the car is recharged!”

Old Man
Reply to  rovingbroker
January 10, 2023 3:33 pm

Trucks are a poor example for electric power. Garbage trucks run at night and not during the day; that would have to be their recharge time. Other utility trucks, like restaurant supply and farm delivery to central warehouses operate at night. You need to get over the idea that all people only work during the day.

Reply to  Old Man
January 10, 2023 7:42 pm

In the UK city delivery of milk to the households was done by electric vehicles. As most deliveries were made in the early morning the quietness was an advantage as was the need to stopping/starting at every house which would be very inefficient in an ICV.

Reply to  Old Man
January 10, 2023 10:02 pm

Garbage pickup here in southern Ontario city starts at 7am.

Would truck/bus ev’s make sense if the usage case involves a lot of stop n go traffic?

Would the often proclaimed low maintenance costs of evs help offset other costs? (If the ev doesn’t burst into flames…)

Reply to  rovingbroker
January 10, 2023 7:18 pm

Electric trucks are little more than corporate virtue signaling. They cost more and do less. The fact that short range delivery is the only place where electric trucks aren’t ridiculously ill suited to purpose, is not a virtue.

January 10, 2023 7:25 am

The reality is that there is not now, nor any time in the near future, going to be enough energy produced to actually carry through with the switch to all EVs.
See the climatologist/environmentalist along side the road, run ’em over. They are so close to useless, its amazing they still steal oxygen.
Just sayin’.

John Pickens
January 10, 2023 7:27 am

And on a more practical note, for a warehouse operation with 100 Amazon electric van equivalent vehicles, you will need 100 fast chargers to keep them out on the road. 100 chargers X 50kW per charger is 5MW of instantaneous electric capacity. Using normal practice, you would upsize that to say, 7MW service. 7MW service is enough to power a small town (without individual homeowner EV charging, Heh…).

Currently, in the Northeast US, the wait time to install a 10MW commercial service is between 5 and 10 YEARS! Good luck with all that.

Last edited 2 months ago by John Pickens
Jim Gorman
Reply to  John Pickens
January 10, 2023 12:24 pm

That is exactly the problem!

How many electric companies have prepared project lists with wire, breakers, conduit, transformers, labor, etc. to install additional equipment? How many have filed them with PUC’s to begin the rate making process? That is where the rubber will really start to hit bureaucrats and politicians up side of the head.

Reply to  John Pickens
January 10, 2023 10:06 pm

No wonder all this talk of SMR and even micro reactors – and right at 10MW for one small, truck delivered unit that’s supposed to run without refueling for 10-odd years, just take away and replace with new nuclear ‘battery’.

January 10, 2023 7:34 am

Menton ==> Even if they add generation capacity, who’s going to pay to re-electrify America?

Mine: How Much of the Grid Must Be Upgraded?

Last edited 2 months ago by Kip Hansen
Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
January 10, 2023 7:39 am

Converting automobiles from petroleum to all-electric is insane, but converting building heat from gas to electric is insanity on a whole different level.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
January 10, 2023 10:13 pm

I can’t believe green activists have been so insanely stupid! Their agenda was already impossible but now they’ve doubled-down on the stupid by blocking natural gas pipelines, hook-ups and power plants.

Gas is the perfect thing to prop up the green economy – to make it look like it’s working on solar and wind – but they shoot the whole thing in the foot by cancelling gas.

Instead of a slow death, the green economy is going to hit a brick wall – and most people are going to seriously suffer.

Gavin Liddiard
January 10, 2023 7:50 am

Seeing as our (UK) government have given us all a code letter: ELECTRICITY SUPPLY EMERGENCY CODE (ESEC) that tells us when to expect rolling 3 hour blackouts when supply is too low I would expect electric car users to become very unpopular if people start joining the dots.
You can find your block letter here.
I’m in block A….
It does seem strange that the government tells us to consume less energy on one hand but encourages the wealthy (my inference as most of us will never afford one) to buy more electric cars and consume more.

Elliot W
Reply to  Gavin Liddiard
January 10, 2023 2:53 pm

Gavin, Thanks for the ESEC link.

I stalled when reading it at Section 3.14. which caught my attention. A UK govt document dated as revised in Nov 2019, states that pharmaceutical companies would be allowed electricity to manufacture vaccines and anti-virals in a pandemic. How interesting. How prescient.

Peta of Newark
January 10, 2023 7:53 am

There was story on the front page of MSN UK about EVs – now disappeared as they do

It gave the example of a Kia, seemingly one of the more popular EVs and how it now costs, typically, £51.19 to charge the thing and how ‘the manufacturer claims’ that that was good for 285 miles.

For that much money, in the UK now, you could get just shy of 30 litres of diesel (I did just that this morning in fact)
In my 2.0 litre VW Bluemotion, that would take me over 400 miles. Trufax.

For the Kia and in UK winter conditions, you would not get 200 miles

Also in the Kia, you’d be $hitting yourself once you’d gone more than 150 as you know not to go beyond 175 as you fug the battery

Like someone said here, out of that £51 I spent, £23 would have gone directly in tax and excise duty to fund the nurses, hospitals and, occasionally, fix a hole in the road – while the Kia driver would have paid £2.44 in tax

And the price-capped price of electricity is going up, again, in April.

I tried, check me, to work out the costs of powering an EV. Decimal points are my forte.
I assumed ‘summer weather’ conditions, 3 miles per kWh and 20% charging losses and came to something reasonably neat and memorable.

That for every 1,000 miles you drive an EV, you’d need to find 1kWh of electricity per day across all 365 days of the year

Thus for the ‘insurance company average’ of 10,000 miles annually you’d need to find 10kWh per day of electrcity

Back to ‘price caps’ and also how UK Gov arrived at that, (also when raving about numbers of homes any given wind-farm will provide for) they assume each UK household consumes 8kWh of electricity per day

So for UK people getting an EV, driving for UK Average Miles of 10K per year, their daily electricity consumption would rise from 8kWh to 18kWh
(Government and EV manufacturer’s own figures and based on summer weather driving)

It’s the economics and mathematics of the madhouse
Worse: During winter at least, another 20+kWh daily will be needed to power household heat pumps

While double the whole lot (say 40kWh per day for 30 million homes) will be needed to charge the batteries that will carry power from summer generation across 180 days from the summer to the winter when its needed

MIke McHenry
January 10, 2023 7:57 am

The absurdity of net zero coupled with the fact that China, India and the rest of the developing world doing nothing makes you wonder what are the politicians motive for pursuing it.

Elliot W
Reply to  MIke McHenry
January 10, 2023 1:29 pm

They have stated their motive: wealth redistribution and the destruction of civilization. (I’d say “Western” civilization, but that’s redundant.) The WEF website and the Davos Elite are very clear on the goals.

MIke McHenry
Reply to  Elliot W
January 11, 2023 12:28 pm

Yes the globalists. You can throw in the UN. But all politics are local at the end of the day

January 10, 2023 8:02 am

Labour and Sir Keir Starmer have accepted £380,000 from a wealthy donor who has also been funding Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists, it has emerged.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince has…

Steve Case
January 10, 2023 8:38 am

The Coming Future of Electric Vehicles:
   Something Here Does Not Add Up

It’s the elephant in the living room that our
good friends on the left never talk about.

Reply to  Steve Case
January 10, 2023 2:36 pm

good for what?

Gary Pearse
January 10, 2023 9:01 am

“Once again, the central planners have no idea what they are doing.”

They have highly paid energy advisors, but these are sociologists hired by Human(?) Resources with equality of outcomes guidelines for selecting the right stuff.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 10, 2023 11:58 am

Those on the left are never concerned about how their big ideas are going to be implemented. For them having good intentions is all that matters.

Elliot W
Reply to  MarkW
January 10, 2023 1:32 pm

No. The leftist foot soldiers may have good intentions, but the leadership does not. The Left is fundamentally anti human and always has been in all its iterations.

January 10, 2023 9:20 am

There are other costs associated with going 100% EV’s besides the 30% increase in electrical supply.

  1. 30% Production increase
  2. new gas, nuclear?
  3. new solar/wind
  4. 90% increase of power cost (Germany data)
  5. new power storage (almost un-estimable)
  6. new battery production capability
  7. new huge cobalt, lithium, copper, nickel, and manganese mining and mining vehicles
  8. 30% more power distribution (grid)
  9. Current EV US EV sales are 6.1% of total. Going to 100% EV’s requires a 16X increase in new EV’s.
  10. This requires 16X more cobalt, lithium, copper, nickel, and manganese
  11. 16X more US mining and mining vehicles.
  12. 16X changeover factory capability.
  13. 16X more charging stations

Reality steps in! Go figure?

Don Perry
January 10, 2023 9:32 am

And now, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is going to open hearings on a proposal to ban gas cook stoves. Add some more pressure on the grid if all gas stoves are replaced by electric.

January 10, 2023 9:37 am

Nothing ever seems to add up when you scale up anything to do with “alternative energy” in all of its present incarnations. Even the most natural like falling water because there’s just aren’t enough “natural” or even “unnatural” sources available to meet the demand and when one reservoir just feeds another reservoir and the top one starts going dry as will naturally tend to occur from time to time in a naturally varying climate in an area known for its “natural” extremes.

January 10, 2023 9:48 am

It doesn’t materially change the analysis, but the energy required to refine petroleum into gasoline should be considered. I am loath to cite the Council on Foreign Relations but this reference states the refining process is about 90% efficient.,equivalent%20in%20energy%20terms%20to%204%20kilowatt%20hours.

January 10, 2023 10:01 am

i have just done a long trip to the alps and back. interesting how many petrol stations are being upgraded for EVS, except…
a normal service station has 16 pumps. each vehicle is at the pump what, 3 minutes?
the ev areas has 8 sockets, only a few of which are fast charge. average time at ‘pump’? what, 45 minutes, an hour? crazy;
and the best bit is – no queue facility for the electric pumps. i assume an app does the q ing but even then it will be absolute chaos.

CD in Wisconsin
January 10, 2023 10:33 am

So where is the surge in generation capacity to support a 30% or so additional need for electricity to electrify all cars? It sure doesn’t look to me like it is there.

Don’t you just love Marxist central planning?

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 10, 2023 2:40 pm

Perhaps you have the figures backwards. Look not at how much more electricity would be required but instead at how many fewer vehicles would be required for the available resources to be functional.

Reply to  AndyHce
January 10, 2023 10:42 pm

That points to the real plan – better start getting familiar with the bus schedule and buy a few pairs of comfy orthopedic shoes.

Rick C
January 10, 2023 11:03 am

It would take about 200 fast charge points to service the same number of EVs as the 50 gas/diesel pumps in my town. The average EV recharge is enough for about 200 miles while the average ICE refueling is enough for about 400 miles. That means EVs would have to visit charge points twice as often to get equivalent range. I estimate that it would require more than doubling the electrical grid capacity for the town because there would have to be enough available to supply 200 fast chargers at 72 kW – that’s 14.4 MW. Town average use now is ~12 MW. By the way, natural gas is by far the dominate source for building and water heating in my area.

January 10, 2023 11:29 am

A lot of things don’t add up–it’s the new craze (i.e., funding pitch).

Simple graph shows why solar geoengineering needs to be studied (

January 10, 2023 11:29 am

Fusion is right around the corner!

Just wait for it while you won nothing and be happy…

January 10, 2023 11:44 am

Francis, You forgot to include the losses involved with transmitting power from the power plant to the EV battery. Depending on who you talk to, that can range from 15 to 25 percent.

January 10, 2023 11:51 am

And that’s just cars. What about home heating as well? Has to be transformed to electicity as well. How much more demand will that bring?

January 10, 2023 11:57 am

This keeps coming up here at WUWT and I keep reminding everyone that the electricity demand from electric vehicles is not a continuous demand but rather is a time dependent demand that depends upon the daily clock.

Most EVs only receive a full charge at “home base”, wherever the vehicle is garaged, and this charging mostly occurs overnight when overall grid power demand is at its lowest in the 24 hour cycle. This is the time period that utilities encourage people to consume more energy, and reduce their energy demand during daylight hours when demand is always far higher than at night. The reason for this, of course, is that our grid and everything in it is sized based upon peak demand, not minimum demand.

The difference between peak daytime demand and night time minimum demand is more than 2:1, easily making up for any additional demand by EVs. Indeed, putting EVs on the grid with overnight charging actually makes the grid much more stable and reliable. The flatter the demand curve, the better.

Granted there is some vehicle charging during daylight hours, but the vast majority is done overnight, because full charges typically take place when the vehicle returns to the garage and is parked overnight. Also, the commercial chargers typically cost far more per KW-hr than what the power costs at home, as much as double or more difference. Utilities can encourage this variance in demand even more with residential rates that vary with time of day, which is what they’ve been doing for decades with commercial and industrial customers, and it’s easy peasy to also do it with residential customers with modern electronically reporting electric meters used most everywhere.

Also, EVs are not going to suddenly and instantaneously replace all ICVs. They will be phased in gradually over the next 20-40 years, and likely will never totally replace all ICVs.

Last edited 2 months ago by Duane
It doesnot add up
Reply to  Duane
January 10, 2023 2:10 pm

The problem is that if you eliminate low demand hours through EV charging, they are no longer low demand hours, and the electricity prices will depend simply on whether there is a wind surplus or deficit. Indeed, as wind penetration increases that will come to dominate pricing at all times of day. So it becomes a case of charge your car when it’s windy. Perhaps acceptable for the low mileage user, but the regular user will find themselves regularly paying premium prices.

Old Man
Reply to  Duane
January 10, 2023 3:26 pm

My guess is that 30-40% of workers are not home at night; they work nights…..some driving. The only time they can charge EV’s is in the daytime. Sorry to rain on your parade.

Reply to  Duane
January 10, 2023 3:35 pm

It doesn’t matter how many times you bring up utter irrelevancies, the remain irrelevant.

The current decrease in electric demand is because of the world as it is today.
First off generation: There is a surplus of power at night because fossil fuel and nuclear power plants work best if run at a constant rate. In the future the alarmists want for us involves wind and solar. Solar doesn’t work at night and wind usually dies down at night as well. There goes your surplus that you are counting on.

Secondly with heating converting from gas to electricity, the demand at night is going to go up especially during the winter.

Last edited 2 months ago by MarkW
Reply to  Duane
January 10, 2023 4:04 pm

At last, a sensible post. Adaption is the key. If anyone is struggling to pay their electricity bills, then try to use more electricity during off-peak periods when prices are significantly lower.

Reply to  Vincent
January 10, 2023 6:58 pm

yep.. cook your evening meal and watch your favorite TV shows during the midday solar peak when rates are at their lowest..err. not quite practicable…

Reply to  Duane
January 10, 2023 6:54 pm

Not quite so….Here in Oz, as more solar enters the grid, we are finding a glut of power during the day, and, of course, a real need for dispatchable power in the early evenings when the sun has departed for the day. Already, energy distributors are moving incentives from overnight (off peak hot water etc) to middle of the day. We are also seeing curtailment of renewables occurring more frequently during the day. Renewables contribute around 12% average to the grid at this time, but the loony leftist labor government wants to increase that to 80% by 2030 as , after all, according to their leader, Albo, solar is the cheapest form of generating power..One wonders that if there is curtailment at 12% contribution, then how much over install and how much curtailment will be required at 80% contribution.. But you can bet London to a Brick, Albo will continue to rant that solar is still the cheapest generator on the planet…

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Duane
January 10, 2023 9:41 pm

Nighttime charging would be encouraged, certainly. You mean nighttime, after 9 or 10 p.m., though. But if someone comes home with a near-flat EV, they are going to want to get charging as soon as they come home, just as demand is peaking, in case they have to go out at night for an emergency or on-call work. Lots of people have to get their groceries after dinner because the kids have to be picked up at daycare and fed first. It will take more than a few dollars of penalty to deter people from doing immediate charging — there will need to be a law….

Ontario, Canada does not see a 2:1 difference between night and day demand. This week, trough demand is 14 GW and peak is about 18 GW. On top of that peak for domestic demand we export another 2-3 GW to Quebec and New York (mostly.) In winter (now) Quebec needs about 1 GW from us on top of their large hydroelectric dams way up north to power their electric resistance space heaters. (It’s too cold for heat pumps.) Ontario uses no electric heat — in cities it’s all gas, propane in rural areas not on the pipeline. So our domestic peak:trough ratio is only 1.3:1, not 2:1 as you imagine. If we were to go to electric heat (or heat pumps in the extreme south), nighttime demand would be much higher….probably ruinously so.

OK, that’s winter. In summer, both daytime and nighttime demand are higher because of air conditioning which runs all night during hot spells. Houses don’t cool off at night all that much by themselves because of insulation. What wind we have drops off about 9 p.m. Windy nights are unusual except in storms. Nighttime demand is of course lower than daytime to reflect the work day but still not the 2:1 ratio that you say will allow easy-peasy charging of EVs. And of course it depends on how many of them there are. Supposedly the sale of ICE cars will be banned in Canada after 2035.

Last edited 2 months ago by Leslie MacMillan
Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Duane
January 10, 2023 10:49 pm

My comment disappeared, perhaps because the link to Ontario’s electricity generation operator, IESO was flagged as Spam.

Whatever, the ratio of peak:trough demand here is not 2:1, more like 1.3:1 right now in winter. (We don’t use electric heat.) All demand is higher in summer from air conditioning of homes and factories but from memory the ratio is not much different. A/C has to stay on all night in hot spells because insulated houses don’t cool down much at night. The wind, such as it is here, drops about 9 p.m.

Most people arriving home with a flat EV will want to start charging immediately in case they have to go out in the evening for emergencies or on-call work, not wait till 9 or 10 p.m. Even grocery shopping gets done after dinner if you have to pick up the kids at daycare and get them fed before you do anything else. If this adds too much to peak demand you will have to cut people off. Merely charging them an extra $5 or so won’t do it.

With the risk of fire, charging will mostly be done in driveways, not in garages. Leaving your car in the driveway all night is not what many people do, with the risk of theft. Charge as soon as you get home, then lock it in the garage when you go to bed. Obviously this is a strategy for us well-off people with suburban garages. I realize that the masses are never going to own EVs anyway, it’s pretty obvious.

I don’t think this will be as easy peasy as you glibly imply.

Reply to  Leslie MacMillan
January 11, 2023 2:47 am

“Most people arriving home with a flat EV will want to start charging immediately in case they have to go out in the evening for emergencies or on-call work, not wait till 9 or 10 p.m. Even grocery shopping gets done after dinner if you have to pick up the kids at daycare and get them fed before you do anything else. If this adds too much to peak demand you will have to cut people off. Merely charging them an extra $5 or so won’t do it.”
That’s an unlikely scenario. Reading EV forums, it is clear that users rarely run their batteries down to anywhere near flat. The routine seems to be to plug the car in at night to keep the battery between 20 and 80%, via programmed charging. That also gives the user the option to pre-condition the car every morning so it is warm and ready to go.
It’s a similar habit to using mobile phones. We just plug them in automatically rather than waiting for the battery to hit empty.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Mikehig
January 11, 2023 11:03 pm

Well, OK, but whether you put half a charge in every night (yes, more likely) or a whole charge in every other night (less likely) doesn’t change the over-all demand. Most people will still want to get that charge in ASAP, in case the power goes off and before the thieves come “car checking”. Waiting till after 9 saves money and works fine, until it doesn’t. For people who have to drive a lot, they may find they slip down below 20% just because things didn’t quite work as planned–had to use the heater, the lights, and the wipers after working past sunset on a cold rainy winter night, and will for sure want to charge as soon as they get home.

I realize these are edge cases but life is full of edges.

Reply to  Duane
January 11, 2023 2:38 am

You beat me to it: I was going to make much the same points!
Wrt off-peak charging etc….”smart” chargers are already on the market and the cars themselves can – mostly – fulfill the same function. So users can programme charging for when power is cheap. That is usually a fixed off-peak period but some providers have an option to feed the vehicle anytime prices are low, such as a surges in windpower.
It can also be argued that making more use of off-peak power should, in a free market world (hah!), lead to lower power prices through greater utilisation of the assets so CapEx and OpEx are spread over higher output figures.

Gunga Din
January 10, 2023 12:17 pm

Lots of “Green Dreams” about tomorrow.
When will “tomorrow” ever become today?
All the “Green Dreams” have accomplished is to make today a nightmare.

Last edited 2 months ago by Gunga Din
January 10, 2023 12:20 pm

This estimate does not even include the trucks !
The Tesla Semi is claimed to use 2kWh per mile (Tesla’s own figure).
I’ve found that in 2015, in the USA, there were a total of 280 trillion vehicle-miles for “truck, single unit” and for “truck, combination” (the two added together). Some might take issue with this, but it at least is a starting point.

At 2,000 watt-hours per mile, I calculate this comes to some 560 TW-hours per year.

The average electricity generation rate, assuming 100% transmission and charging efficiencies, then needs to be 64 TW.

That is, 64,000GW, generating 24/7, just to run the truck fleet.

This is such a startlingly high figure that I suspect I have made a mistake somewhere !

Can anyone check this?

Reply to  KB
January 10, 2023 12:28 pm

Having posted the above, I can now say I DID make a mistake, a small matter of three orders of magnitude !

The annual total for trucks should be 560 GW-hours per year.

The average electricity generation rate then needs to be 64GW (not 64,000GW) to run the truck fleet.

That’s still a respectable amount. It is about double the UK average electricity demand.

January 10, 2023 12:48 pm
January 10, 2023 1:46 pm

Smacks forehead! We forgot about virtuous power plants and all those EV owners buying larger range batteries than they need for transportation in order to connect up with V2G and let their neighbours wear them out to keep the lights on-

Reply to  observa
January 10, 2023 2:18 pm

PS: Don’t forget the TEN THOUSAND smackeroonies worth of virtuousity too-

michael hart
January 10, 2023 2:24 pm

Go long on mining and metals. This madness will be around for a while, irrespective of the fundamentals.

This is opinion. I am not a qualified investment analyst.

Reply to  michael hart
January 11, 2023 2:42 am

But an astute observer of Einstein’s theory that –

“There are only 2 things that are infinite – the cosmos and man’s stupidity”.

January 10, 2023 3:26 pm

You’re probably working on the assumption that the population of the planet will be roughly the same (or continuing on it’s predicted growth path). I don’t think that the people with designs on taking over the world hold the same view. Their future world is one with far fewer people in it. Perhaps 5-6 billion fewer people. They suppose that once that condition is met, we (they) will be able to live in some utopian paradise. Never mind how they get there though, or that the utopia that they envision is a mirage.

You won’t need to worry about millions of people with electric cars. The common folk will not be permitted cars, they must stay within 10km of their assigned habitat cubical, until the government decides that they are eligible for voluntary euthanasia. They will own nothing, eat bugs, and they will be happy. You will need to be happy, because being unhappy (especially with the government) will effect your social credit score, and you won’t be able to access your allotment of bugs to eat.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  MarkH
January 10, 2023 9:48 pm

The only good news is that bugs turn out to be no more emissions-efficient than chickens in converting feed into high-quality protein. If you feed the bugs junk, like styrofoam or rice husks, they don’t do any better with it than you would. Of course that means you won’t be allowed to have bugs to eat, either…..

January 10, 2023 4:13 pm

The EV fan club’s international darling has impure thoughts no doubt corrupted by the evil Toyota San-

January 10, 2023 8:17 pm

If you’ve quite finished with the WLTP testing we’ll turn the range extender on now-

Walter Sobchak
January 10, 2023 8:54 pm

In another illustration of the hopelessness of the quest for battery powered vehicles, miners have proposed opening a lithium mine in the middle of the Great Basin in Northern Nevada.

The usual suspects are suing to block the opening of the mine because, wouldn’t you know it the site is sacred to Native Americans; just as sacred as Mecca is to Muslims, the Western Wall is to Jews, and the Holy Sepulcure is to Christians.

The warmunists vs the anti-racists. Pass the popcorn.

We won’t be able to have nice things until the last lawyer is strangled with the entrails of the last environmentalist.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 10, 2023 10:04 pm

I suppose the site became sacred only after the miners announced plans to dig there….

We actually had a case in Canada where a developer offered to amend a proposed ski resort in the Kootenays of British Columbia in response to Native objections that it would encroach on grizzly bear habitat. That wasn’t good enough for the Natives but the judge said it was, that it met all permitting rules and could go ahead. Mightily miffed at getting stiffed, the Natives came back to Court with the story that an elder on her death bed had a dream that said the whole mountain was sacred to the grizzly bear Spirit and it would be offended if any development occurred anywhere. The old lady was now conveniently dead and couldn’t be cross examined. The Court said, No, we live in a secular country, not a theocracy, and claims that large areas of land are sacred are just not tenable. It went to the Supreme Court and the developer won.

You should have heard the caterwauling from the Left.

In Canada, Natives have to be consulted during the permitting process about development that affects their traditional territory but they do not have a veto, no matter what objections they raise. They think they have a veto, though, and often behave as if they do, blocking access roads, vandalizing equipment, yadda yadda.

I hope the Nevada miners prevail. You can’t have vast tracts of wilderness under the sovereign control of a rival government citing religion.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Leslie MacMillan
January 11, 2023 7:25 am

Until otherwise proved by strong historical evidence, all claims of sacred land should be regarded as attempted armed robbery.

January 10, 2023 10:17 pm
January 10, 2023 11:32 pm

I find it odd that near every committed Capitalist uses the word ‘socialism’ as universal talismanic insult at anyone not embracing said capitalist’s vision of the Free Market, yet every single one accepts government subsidies (socialism) as a necessary part of his capitalist utopia. Every single ‘challenge’ in our society can be solved with a bit of miscegnation and lots of guvmint supsiddies?
What I find odder, is that not one single voice arises to challenge the utterly stupid idea of recharging batteries. Has not one engineer thought of making those batteries instantly replaceable? Go the a station, they fork out the battery, replaced it with a fully charged unit, and bill you for the energy used from the previous battery.
This solves a number of problems: Range. Homes burning down because we let people who care nothing assemble dangerous packets of highly volatile poisons. Battery suppliers improving their product, instead of a one-time buyer being given a lemon to suck on. Centralised control over the dangerous waste material from old batteries. Centralised, non-urban charging facilities not interfering with the rest of the economy they are ‘saving’. On and on.
Not even the Great Musk himself is willing to take this obvious step,seeing as he is the biggest subsidy miner in the world. A True Capitalist. Remember the early days, when he \told us how we will plug the car into the house, TO RUN THE HOUSE?
The irony, it burns!

Last edited 2 months ago by cilo
January 11, 2023 1:53 pm

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board expressed concern Wednesday about the safety risks that heavy electric vehicles pose if they collide with lighter vehicles. The official, Jennifer Homendy, raised the issue in a speech in Washington to the Transportation Research Board. She noted, by way of example, that an electric GMC Hummer weighs about 9,000 pounds (4,000 kilograms), with a battery pack that alone is 2,900 pounds (1,300 kilograms) — roughly the entire weight of a typical Honda Civic

Bruce Alder
January 11, 2023 2:23 pm

I had the same questions and did similar research and ended up on the same Department of Energy website. One note on that page caught my eye… see the note on electric power that says “Electrical System Energy Losses – 65%”… The same website for the The US Energy Administration website goes on to say that 65% of electric energy produced is “Lost”. Apparently uncooperative little electrons jump off the powerline in large numbers if pushed to travel too far. So we actually need to produce much more electrical power to replace the the same amount of fossil fuels we intend to replace. There is definately a cost to transportign petroleum fuels – but it is not 65% and a gas can or Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be tehre and useful when needed.

Reply to  Bruce Alder
January 11, 2023 6:22 pm

What they are referring to is that the heat energy from a traditional fossil-fuel-boiler/steam-turbine-generator electrical plant has a 40% efficiency at best. That’s in terms of btu input from burning the fuel and the electrical watts output from the generator. At least 60% of the heat is lost, i.e. through the stack, radiated, used to run auxiliaries, etc.. But the biggest loss is the turbine-generator that can use only about 60% of its heat energy just because of the laws of thermodynamics. So almost 40% of the heat in the steam has been unused when it exits the system.

Last edited 2 months ago by ponysboy
January 11, 2023 2:31 pm

Great report. And it’s even worse than the potential Electricity shortages.
In many regions of the U.S. it’s likely that the new non plug-in hybrids cause less CO2 than the fuel used to charge an EV that are charged from the grid.
The EV enthusiasts want to believe that they can look at the mix of fuels in their region and average them to determine the impact of charging EV’s. That’s not logical. You have to look at the change of fuel use when a significant new load is added.

In the short term (hours) a variation in demand can be matched with a rapid changing natural gas (NG) unit. But in the longer term a new balance has to be reached. The eia arm of the Department of Energy recently published their latest forecast based on the most optimistic plans for adding renewables (AEO2022). They see no increase in Electricity demand in coming decades and NG production leveling out at the optimum capacity factor 0f 86%. Nuclear and hydro will remain base loaded.

Since 2005 we’ve been able to reduce coal steadily, mainly due to fracking but also due to an increasing contribution from renewables. Their vision through 2050 is that NG holds constant and is used for hourly and/or seasonable variations and renewables will grow enough such that coal can continue to be reduced. i.e. We add 1000 Megawatthours of renewables and we can reduce coal by 1000 Megawatthours.
But,meanwhile, if we add a load of 500 Megawatthours for EV charging, we don’t save all that coal; only half of it. So we have to assign that difference in coal firing to the EV’s. Until we totally eliminate coal that’s the situation in much of the U.S.. (Even in California where they have never fired coal in Electric Utility plants they buy 30% from outside the state, including from the southwest that includes coal.)

I’ve done the math (available upon request along with references).
Excluding line losses, charging one EV doing 12,500 miles per year results in 4.08 metric tons of CO2 annually.

I assume 52 mpg for a non plug-in hybrid. I know many existing models get much less, but even the Climate Change activists concede that the Prius Eco gets 55 mpg.
That works out to 2.22 metric tons per year.

So you would think that someone truly worried about climate change would strongly favor Hybrids over EV’s until we can clean up the electrical grid. Not so. EV has become a religion.

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