How much electricity will be needed to power electric cars by 2035?

Q: How many electric vehicles are estimated to be on US roads by 2035, and how much electricity will need to be produced to power them?

A: Currently, it is estimated that about 1% of the 250 million cars, sport utility vehicles and light trucks in the United States are all-electric vehicles.

In 2021, President Joe Biden set a goal that half of all cars sold in the U.S. would be electric, hybrid or fuel cell by the end of the decade.

Ford expects that by 2030, 40 to 50% of global vehicle volume will be fully electric. General Motors has pledged to go all-electric by 2035. Lexus plans to go all-electric in North America, Europe and China by 2030 and in all markets by 2030. 2035. Other manufacturers are making similar promises.

Because no one knows how quickly electric vehicle technology will improve or how many electric vehicles will actually be in use by 2035, it is difficult to estimate how much electricity will be needed to power them.

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However, an analysis by Nikita Abhyankar, a scientist at the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, estimates that demand for all electricity in the US will nearly double between 2018 and 2050.

This analysis, part of a comprehensive 2020 study, is based on the conversion to electricity of many things that currently burn fossil fuels, including vehicles, buildings and factories. Fossil fuel is a general term for energy sources such as natural gas, coal, crude oil, and petroleum products.

Automakers’ commitment to electric vehicles is similar to the situation a century ago, when oil companies tried to provide the infrastructure to support the growing number of combustion engine cars.

Energy companies will need to find ways to increase electricity production as the world strives to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels (primarily natural gas and coal) accounted for 61% of utility-scale electricity generation in the United States in 2021. Nuclear power accounted for 18.9% of the total, and renewables (eg wind, hydro and solar) accounted for 19.8%.

If electricity is also to replace fossil fuels in buildings and factories, household and industrial equipment that currently use natural gas, propane, fuel oil and other non-electrical energy will need to be converted or replaced.

The EIA says that in 2021, electricity accounted for 43% of total energy use in the residential sector. Natural gas accounted for 42%, and oil (fuel oil, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas, which mainly consists of propane) – 8%. energy end use in the residential sector. Renewable energy sources – geothermal energy, solar energy and wood fuel – account for about 7% of the residential sector’s end use.

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