Electric vehicles debunked by electric utility researchers

A new report from the Electric Power Research Institute exposes EVs as pointless even under the rosiest scenario.

First, assuming that 35 million EVs are sold by 2030, EPRI estimates that gasoline savings would amount to 7 billion gallons annually. But in 2010, Americans burned 378 million gallons of gas per day. So the 2030 EV gasoline savings amount to a mere 5 percent of 2010 usage. Giving growing world demand for gasoline, a growing US population and (hopefully) a growing US economy, this projected “savings” would likely be meaningless.

Next, the 35 million vehicle-sold scenario is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 90 million tons annually by 2030 — i.e., about 1.2 percent of current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and about 0.003 percent of current global emissions. So greenhouse gas-wise, EV’s are a trivial pursuit.

Of course, selling 35 million EVs is somewhat of a fantasy to start with as only several thousand EVs have been sold this year at great taxpayer expense. So actual gasoline and CO2 savings are likely to be even less impressive.

EPRI probably didn’t intend to debunk EVs as it is the research arm of the electric power industry, which is understandably salivating at the prospect of the EV boondoggle. So we can safely assume that the facts presented in EPRI’s report put EVs in the best light possible — and they still don’t make sense.

Don’t forget that with the current $7,500 per vehicle tax credit, all this failure would only cost taxpayers $260 billion!

21 responses to “Electric vehicles debunked by electric utility researchers

  1. They said EV’s were the next best thing in the early 1900’s and unfortunately they’re still saying it today. When will they learn?

    • You have to remember, Kirk, that it wasn’t until the invention of the electric starter in 1913 that gasoline was the “sure thing”. There was still quite a bit of experimentation going on then, and steam along with electric looked to be winners. We all know now that liquid fuels ultimately proved to be the best all-round choice, but in, say, 1905, that wasn’t so certain.

  2. “Next, the 65 million vehicle-sold scenario is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 90 million tons annually by 2030 —i.e., about 1.2 percent of current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions …” Of course, when The One converts our energy infrastructure over to near total Green Power then percent of CO2 emissions will be much higher. You just have to meditate and visualize AGW peace. That will be all we will be able to aid to do at that point anyway.

  3. Worse yet, there’s a small oversight here in that the “debunking” only included the reductions in gas and CO2, while ignoring the increased need for electricity generation by coal, natural gas, nuclear or other sources. The power has to come from somewhere!

  4. They’re including vehicles which can burn gasoline when the batteries are depleted. I haven’t dug through the report to see if their estimate includes a certain amount of gasoline-powered travel, but their results imply a lot of gasoline-powered travel.

    • All power used by the vehicles which have batteries either comes from the power grid or the gasoline engine. Regardless of where it comes from it has to be generated some place.

  5. Don’t forget the expense to massively expand the electrical distribution grid and the resultant CO2 releases from such construction.

  6. Laughing yet Crying

    Mark-
    You just don’t get it. The greenies all think the power comes out of the wall (outlet)! Like magic- easy peasy lemon squeezy!

  7. I thought Al Gore invented electricity and supplies the world from his modest little home in Tennessee. Or was it the Internet? Whenever I think of Al Gore I get so confused.

  8. I just looked up the recent car sales numbers in 2009 it was 10 million cars. this 65 million cars by 2030 would require over 3 million electric cars be bought each year which would be over 30% of cars sold. they have a long way to go to meet their goal.

  9. Let’s not forget all the rare-earth minerals and toxic substances used in battery creation. I’m sure all those toxic subtances will be recycled and not left to rot in some junkyard somewhere. I mean, we do such a perfect job with the ones used today. Right?

  10. david schneider

    A friend of mine at an electric vehicle firm had this to say (name witheld)
    “pathetic conservative drivel. wave your pitchforks at the electric car. When gas goes to $8 a gallon these people will be sniveling and walking while electricy will cost the same. nuclear power will solve the pollution issues and conservative dogma endorses big nukes”

  11. Pingback: Electric vehicles debunked by electric utility researchers | Suffolk County Liberty Report

  12. John David Galt

    Has anyone done a good whole-life-cycle energy-cost analysis of EVs?

  13. John Marshall

    You also have to function in recycling costs of the batteries, very high, and costs to the environment in mining the minerals needed for battery manufacture and the transport of those minerals to China for battery manufacture and transport of the batteries back to the US. Batteries also do not last the total life of the car and cost many dollars to change.

    Stick with fossil fuels.

  14. We have 175 years of coal in this country. Process it into liquid biodiesel with the excess electricity from the grid. The excess is from new plants for consumer demand and running at a constant level for efficiency. The demand excess can be used to help with the energy costs of gasifying the coal. Homegrown fuel, cleaner fuel and better overall efficiency. Replace the military demand, then the over the road demand; next. the railroad and airlines. This puts a MAJOR dent in consumer use levels and covers national security. Our oil uses for fuel will be extended for a longer period this way.

  15. Batteries are miniature toxic chemical plants that have a limited shelf life a high carbon footprint and an expensive disposal and recycling cost.
    The U.S. government has given away billions of YOUR tax money to support battery development for purely political purposes, (two billion to Michigan alone).

    Let’s stop the waste which is complete madness!

  16. Let us not forget that ‘lectric cars are more efficient on FLAT LEVEL surfaces. try getting any kind of efficiency when you travel up a 20% grade for 1 or 2 miles…DUH.

  17. S. Milloy writes “Don’t forget that with the current $7,500 per vehicle tax credit, all this failure would only cost taxpayers $48 billion!”

    Maybe I’m math-challenged or maybe I just have a bad calculator, but when I multiply 65 million times $7,500 I come up with $487.5 billion, not 48 billion.

    • You are right. But there was another error in the piece — the scenario used was 35 million (not 65 million) EVs sold. So that would make the taxpayer sacrifice on the order of $260 billion. Apologies for the errors!

  18. Pingback: Energy and Environmental News « PA Pundits – International

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