With electric vehicles gaining in popularity, some people theorize that they will increase energy costs. The assumption is that mass transition to battery-powered cars will lead to more strains on the grid as everybody plugs in their vehicle to charge at the same time. This will cause the grid to break down and require hefty investments to repair and upgrade, increasing energy costs.
Is this theory correct? We look into this claim in this article. First, we look at how many electric vehicles we are expecting in the future.
How many electric vehicles are there in the future?
While we can’t really go into the future to see what will happen, trends can give us a good idea of what is in store.
Up till 2018, there were more than four million electric vehicles on the road, counting both PHEVs and BEVs. However, with more governments banning ICE cars and legacy makes shifting to electric vehicles, the number is expected to balloon to 125 million by 2030, according to BloombergNEF.
While this is a steep increase, what impact will it have on the grid?
What impact will the increased number of electric vehicles have on the grid?
According to BloombergNEF, until 15 percent of all the vehicles on the road become electric, there won’t be any severe impact on the grid. This milestone is not expected until 2035, meaning the grid is in no immediate danger of collapsing.
Further bursting the myth of grid collapsing is the type of vehicle with the highest electrification rate. This category covers passenger cars, like the Tesla Model 3 or Model S. According to another study by Eurelectric, it is not until 80 percent of all passenger cars become electric that the grid will experience more than a ten percent jump in demand. This presents no real risk to the grid as the rate at which it is being developed matches any extra demand.
Lastly, electric cars are five to six times more energy-efficient than internal combustion engines. This means the energy demand electric vehicles will place on the grid is a fraction of what their ICE counterparts require to operate. So, it is better for humanity, in general, to transport themselves with battery-powered vehicles rather than by burning fossil fuels. But more importantly, there is no reason electric cars will cause a spike in energy costs.