The Electric Vehicle Adoption Curve


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.

Original Article on 2GreenEnergy

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