Here’s an article that presents some specious logic associated with electric vehicle adoption. In particular, the greening of conventional vehicles militates away from, not towards, the adoption of EVs; the payback in fuel consumption for an EV is far more attractive when the car one’s replacing gets 25 MPG than 60 MPG.
Having said this, I do see a day when the case for electric transportation becomes overwhelming, both for the individual and for society. Imagine, if you will, a time in which:
• EV range issues will have all but disappeared, i.e., ranges of 300 miles have been achieved at a reasonable cost. Other costs have fallen as well, due to economies of scale and advancements in technology.
• In addition to home and the workplace, “opportunity charging” locations are springing up, including fast-charging locations. (Note that this is already happening; see Tesla’s project for travelers.)
• Society decides to “internalize the externalities” of gasoline, i.e., create a landscape in which we pay the true costs of fossil fuel consumption, including the damage to our environment and our lungs — and, dare I say it? — the use of our military to provide access to oil. (While this is anything but a slam dunk, it’s possible; in fact, I argue that it’s becoming more probable every year as more people start to see the horrific impact that fossil fuels are creating on our planet.)
• EVs become fairly innocuous in terms of their impact on the grid. This is not too hard to imagine, by the way. Coal-fired power plants are steadily being retired, starting with the oldest, i.e., dirtiest. I’d hate to see it, but if we really are building more nuclear power plants, that’s 24/7 base-load, and, since EVs are largely charged at night with off-peak power, this is helpful to the case. EVs also create a home for wind energy that is currently curtailed or sold at negative prices.
• The presence of EVs encourages all manner of other futuristic concepts: distributed generation (e.g., mid-sized wind), as well as smart-grid, including vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
Again, this is “down the road” thinking, but not too hard to envision.