2022-06-30 We Have To Switch To Electric Cars

We have to switch to electric cars. Can the grid handle it?

From a video on Engineering Explained channel.


EVs – electric vehicles – get about 100 miles per gallon equivalent. One gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 33.7 kWh.

We do some math and come up with about 1 trillion kWh used by the drivers (he’s talking about just drivers in America) if everyone was driving electric vehicles.

The total energy (electricity) used in the US is a bit over 4 trillion kWh, according to the EIA (Energy Information Administration). If we converted all vehicles to electric, that would add about 1 trillion kWh, plus add about 25% for charging and other losses. So changing to all EVs would need about 25 to 30% increase to the existing energy (electricity) production in the US.

For decades, the US grew electricity production by 4% per year. At that rate it would take 6.5 years to add 30% to the electricity production.

We are not going to change to EVs in any amount close to 100% in 6.5 years. We are changing to EVs at about a 2% rate so it will take much longer than 6.5 years.

This 30% increase does not take into consideration population growth or other reason for an increase in demand.

According to the EIA, the electricity consumption of the average house in the US is about 900 kWh per month. Going by the average of driving 13,500 miles per year, the average EV will use about 15.6 kWh per day or about 475 kWh per month.

The 475 kWh per month is equivalent to using a single wall outlet constantly. The houses can handle this easily. Most charging will be done at home during off-peak hours after 12 AM to get the lowest kWh rate and save money. So peak demand will not change, most increase will be during off-peak times. So the peak demand on the infrastructure doesn’t change. Local infrastructure won’t have to change anymore than it would for no EVs.


There was no discussion about level 5 autonomy.

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