EVs are coal powered: typical but weak attempt to make it seem that EVs electricity source is dirtier than gas engines burning gas. In actuality coal is less than 20% of US power grid supply and dropping every year. Natural gas takes up 40% and clean evergy 40%. Also, off peak charging is the more common time for cars to recharge so that electricity is even cleaner still (around 50-60% clean in areas that have nuclear and hydro sources of power). And this will improve with time as we switch to more green energy sources. Of course, Elon Musk answered this concern very well 15 years ago in his Secret Plan blog post.
An important consideration to keep in mind is that coal power plants emit 2 lbs of CO2 per kwh produced vs 1 lb 3 oz of CO2 for natural gas plants. Also, cost of coal has become significantly more expensive than either solar or wind, so along with the issues dealing with ash byproducts, it is on the way out no matter how you look at it.
Need 100s more nuclear generators to handle EV charging/the grid will never handle the load of charging evs/ev charging will cause blackouts: some of many attempts to make it seem impossible we could support charging if all our vehicles were EVs. Try this math: miles driven in a year in the US is 3 trillion miles. Average miles an EV gets per kWh is 4. That comes to 0.75 trillion kWh used per year if every vehicle in the US became an EV overnight. Also, as of December of 2020 our electricity generating capacity in the US was 10+ trillion kWh per year...we only use 4 trillion kWh per year, the rest is used to handle peak load hours and seasons. And, guess what? Most EV charging is done during off peak hours when the grid 1) isn’t stressed and 2) in fact is sometimes throwing away unused energy. Hydro, solar, wind, and even some nuclear is use it or lose it in many cases where storage isnt available and demand is low. All this info is easily researched in various DOT yearly summaries as well as the epa.gov website. Just realized there is another tidbit of info buried in all that. At an average price for off peak electric of 10 cents per kWh, that comes to $0.075 trillion or $75 billion charged to consumers to drive 3 trillion miles in EVs. Sound like a lot? At 25 mpg, 3 trillion miles in gas vehicles costs consumers $360 billion per year in the US (at a gas price of $3 per gallon).
EVs cost more to maintain than a gas car: there is no basis for these statements for modern EVs and plenty of detailed real life analysis of EV costs. Over the life of an EV, there typically is no scheduled maintenance (no oil changes, tuneups, transmission/radiator/steering fluid changes, no lube jobs, no fuses or relays to jiggle or replace (on Teslas at least), etc. Tires you go to a tire store for, brakes last in the 100,000+ mile range but basically are normal brakes and pads and rotors...and of course you can upgrade those with fancier 3rd party components as you can the wheels and shocks like any car. Granted, there is glycol that is part if the heat pump design and is used to cool and heat the batteries as needed to prevent charging and discharging from stressing the batteries, so that will need to be checked as needed in the 300,000-500,000 life of the car. What is nice though is simply that the list of things a gas car has that an EV doesn't is quite long (belts, idler pully, an idle :), engine air filter, engine, plugs, o2 sensors, etc) and oddly enough gas cars have more electrical modules than EVs (see Surprise here.)
The Grid doesn't have the capacity to handle charging if all cars were EVs: oddly enough, this is untrue in even the most stressed out areas. The reason is simple. Our power grids are designed to handle peak load times, so wiring, transformers, and stepdown power levels are overdesigned for those periods. By simply doing most EV charging during off peak hours when electricity is cheaper, the grid won't be stressed. The power required for all this charging is less than 10% of the current grid capacity, btw, and less than 20% of the current yearly power consumption in the US. Here is one article that talks about this. Also, this study by Yale addressed 3 of the electric grid myths that always pop up. Oh...and to answer the common followup question of why would people charge their cars in off peak hours...that is easy...you charge less for electricity in off peak hours (which is done for that very reason all over the US). Be like driving along and seeing two gas stations right next to each other with pumps open in both, one with $4.00 a gallon gas and one with $2.00 a gallon gas. would anyone use the $4.00 a gallon gas pump?
Volcanoes put out more CO2 than humans ever could: Not sure where this started, but in just two states in the US, humans manage to put out more CO2 per year than all the volcanoes in the world do in an average year.
EVs will run out of electricity if stuck in stop and go traffic or in a snowsorm: actually, no, a gas car is much much more likely to suffer that fate. EVs get excellent mileage when driven slow and incredible mileage in frequent stop and go traffic...reasons are simple...when not moving, the EV is basically turned off...the computer and screen and even headlights and hvac are incredibly low power draw, using less than 2 miles of range per hour with all that active when stopped, so over say a 4 hour drive, a couple hours additional slowdown due to an accident or road issue isnt even noticed in power loss. The other reason is regenerative braking. Push the accelerator to speed up and then immediately let off to slow down again and regenerative braking recovers some of that power used to accelerate. And no, not even an issue when stuck in traffic in a blizzard...a video on this is here
But Climate Change isn't real: Common misinformation propagated by armchair climate non-scientists. For what real climate scientists with actual training in the science are in consensus on is found here.
Range Anxiety is real. You can't carry around a spare container of electricity: Range anxiety lasted as long as it took to get to the very first stop in our very first trip we took in the Tesla. All the talk about range anxiety was more the cause of our initial range anxiety (that and just the newness of the experience). Once we realized that by plugging in every time we got home (takes about 5 seconds), the car was always topped off and ready to drive without any worries for daily driving. On long trips, the car automatically adds in all your supercharger stops when you set up your route before leaving on the trip. It even shows what percentage of battery you will arrive with at each stop and how long you will need to stop at each supercharger along the way. The car knows which stalls are down for repair at each site, how many of them are in use, etc. It will even warn you while driving if you need to drive slower to get to your charger (i.e. if you were speeding too much or had diverted from the route for some reason)...and will even reroute you to closer chargers if needed. Oh, and you could carry around a Battery generator unit...but that would be like carrying around a quart or so of gas just in case you needed 6 more miles worth of driving. Highly unlikely scenario.
I live in a rural area. EVs are worthless on a farm: actually, having grown up on a farm, I'm a bit skeptical that anyone saying this is actually a farmer. Some of the reasons why EVs are excellent for rural areas are discussed here.
EVs are clumsy to drive because they weigh so much: Wrong for so many reasons. First, batteries are situated low in EVs so provide excellent stability in turns at speed...and are great in snow. Second the instant and massive torque provided by electric motors gives EVs a nimble feel. Finally, they aren't really much if any heavier than their comparable gas vehicles...granted the EV battery will weigh 1,000 lbs or more in a sports sedan, but people forget that a gas car has the weight of a full gas tank, a 450lb or so engine vs 70 lb motors, massively lighter single gear drive train, no tail pipes, mufflers. etc. People that present this misinformation have likely never driven a modern EV.
EVs are only here because the industry is heavily subsidized: In actuality EVs are barely subsidized, see the chart below. Tesla federal tax rebates actually ended in 2019, yet in 2020 they sold 500,000 cars and in 2021 will likely be near the 900,000 mark. Companies like GM and Chrysler were bailed out to the tune of over 80 billion dollars and Ford took a massive multi billion dollar loan from the US government back in 2009...and these companies are still unable to pay it all back. Tesla took an under 500 million dollar loan out back then and paid it back early, with interest, and were even penalized for paying it back early. And of course the US doesn't support Carbon Taxes to help pay for fossil fuel related incidents and risks...oil and coal lobbyists are alive and well in the US. More detailed loan numbers are in an answer further down in this page.
Climate Change is not real, so no reason for EVs. First, it is real and 99% or more of scientists with climatology experience agree that it is real. A followup to the not real comment is usually that "but they were wrong in the past"...which also isn't true in many cases...they warned, measures were taken (usually too little, too late) and some changes worked (ie ozone hole quit expanding) and some just delayed the effects (some of which are catching up with us today). Second, very few Tesla owners actually bought their Tesla for green reasons. That may have led them to start thinking about the Tesla in the first place, but i can guarantee you, if it wasn’t fun to drive most wouldnt buy it. For me it was 1) fun to drive, 2) safe, 3) reliable, 4) high tech (AI potential, state of the art computers and software design, over the air updates that kept the car refreshed), and 5) comfortable to drive on long trips. We limit ourselves to 700-800 miles a day on long trips and between the car and autopilot I found it enjoyable not having to peel your fingers off the steering wheel after a long days driving.)
Look at what lithium mining does for the environment [picture of worlds largest copper mine inserted here]: Its amazing how much mileage one person got out of calling a copper mine a lithium mine in an article years ago...ditto for the gold mine that is near a town also called a lithium mine. A bit of irony in the fact that most of the largest lithium deposits in the world are in ancient sea beds that are now the worlds most arid deserts...and there you basically drill deep holes, pump water down in the holes, pump brine out of the holes, then refine the sludge after letting the water evaporate out...sound familiar? There are surface mines scattered around in Australia as well where Lithium is extracted from rock, but not on the scale of those massive copper mines. Refining lithium does involve use of acids which adds to the expense to properly protect the environment but Tesla appears to have an answer for that also. Check out this "just add salt" patent review.
Well, they can't use batteries on large vehicles like Semis, Buses, Ships, Planes, and heavy construction equipment, so why bother with cars? Well, first of all they already are working on Electric Vehicles in these segments...it is just that cars got a head start because they were easier to start with as battery technology improved. EV Buses are already in use both in mass transit and schools, with the goal in the US of converting all school buses to EVs in 5 years. Here is a link that discusses ships.
Lithium batteries in my RC cars catch fire for no reason/Lithium batteries explode when a few drops of saltwater are dropped on them. These are usually just comments by people trying to compare different battery technologies to EV battery technology. First, the batteries in RC cars are typically LiPo batteries..they are better suited for weight density in RC models but are usually charged quickly to max charge and discharged fast so tend to wear out quickly and can short out internally as a result...often when charging as obviously there is no thermal management nor smart charging available. Here is some useful info on preventing LiPo fires.
Second, some batteries that are called Lithium Metal cells (usually smaller size batteries) when punctured can cause quite a flash fire even if you don't add a few drops of water :). In normal use these batteries are quite safe.
EV batteries are much safer because they can buffer to prevent full charging or discharging completely. Likewise they provide thermal management and smart charging capability to prevent issues during discharge and charging. Plus EVs monitor the batteries and charge and discharge currents and voltages and can take action when discrepancies are noticed (isolating batteries before failure and stopping charging operations when external power issues are noticed (ie external wiring or charging cables getting too hot). For more info on batteres, click here. Also, some types of Lithium batteries are getting even safer. Interesting info here on LFP batteries.
If I lose connection to the internet will I be able to open my car, drive my car, or charge my car. Of course you can. Even autopilot will work fine. The car does all that work all by itself, even letting your iphone unlock the car as you get near the car as always (uses blue tooth, not internet for that.) We spend a lot of time in the mountains without any signal with no issues. Recent FUD about people not being able to get into their cars and drive when the app server went down for a while on Labor day were simply incorrect...I maybe use the app once every few weeks and then just to download new software when notified of a new release. Typical social media clickbait that turned into "news" after a few people mentioned in forums that they couldn't unlock their car and were quickly corrected in the forums...guessing they hadn't tried or possibly didn't even own a Tesla.
It will take me days longer to drive from x to y in an EV because it takes 5 hours to charge every 200 miles. Not a clue where this started, but totally bogus as long distance travel stops in an EV overall are rarely much longer than total trip stops in gas cars. The exception being that rare person that likes to pee in a bottle and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in between those 40 gallon tank fills. I used to drive a Suburban with a 42 gallon gas tank all over the country and between large ice teas at macdonalds and the mandatory pee stops 250 or so miles later at which time i would reload with iced tea, yeah, I really never thought of the massive gas tank as a feature that shortened trip time. In any case, check trip charging or range for more info.
But gasoline contains much more energy than an equivalent volume or weight of an EV battery. Will EVs ever overcome that shortcoming? Obvious answer is what shortcoming? To better understand why this isn't an issue relative to gas cars, check out the Battery Energy Density part of this sites Battery section.
Electric cars are more dangerous than gas cars because they are electric and they have dangerously high EMF levels. Well, it is true they are electric, but beyond that these type of statements are just poorly made assumptions. Best way to address this is to read the standards report that discusses safe levels and then consider the following facts: 1) one of the highest EMF fields generated by EVs and Gas cars are the rotation of radial tires…so that is the same for each type of vehicle, 2) both modern gas cars and EVs have computers in them, which emit up to 10uT when measured in extremely close proximity to them but much smaller levels when measured next to driver or passenger (similar levels from bottom of a laptop, btw), 3) every 5 or 6 years this comes up…2009 concerns about Prius (hybrids actually do have higher EMF levels than gas cars or pure electric cars but still not at dangerous levels), 2014 study on pure electric vehicles found emf levels ranged from 2% to slightly over 10% of the lowest safe levels with hybrids slightly higher, 4) a fairly nasty EMF generator turns out to be the alternator, but that only exists in gas vehicles and some hybrids, 5) readings for gas vehicles is 0.4 to 0.6 uT, EVs 0.5 to 1.2 uT in one study, home ambient 0.1 to 0.4, microwave oven 2.5 uT at arms length, etc. Here is a study that covers some of this info in more detail.
EVs are worthless in cold weather. This is a typical exaggeration based on the fact that batteries as well as people must be kept warm and that means battery draw in EVs. In actuality this isn't that big of an issue. As in a gas car, just hopping around town and never really letting the drive train and the car heat up will ding your gas mileage. Older model EVs can see a 40% drop in range in extreme sub zero city driving which is similar to the range loss in a gas car. So you get home, plug in and it takes 3 hours to charge overnight instead of around 2 hours. Driving on long trips, more energy will be expended at the beginning of the trip to heat things up but, overall, maybe a 20% hit in range. So you can still drive for 2-3 hours before stopping for food or restroom breaks while charging, but might need to supercharge for 25 minutes vs 20 minutes. Not that big of a deal. Add in the fact that modern EVs use heat pumps to further reduce energy drain in cold weather by up to 1/3 of the energy draw of the older resistive heater draw and the fact that EVs handle driving in snow better than gas cars and, well, hardly what you would consider a worthless car. Also consider the fact that EVs get better range the slower you drive, so most people might not even notice a range drop at all (ie people drive slower on snowy or icy roads, usually).
EVs are too small. I need a lot of storage. This is obviously someone who has never taken a trip in a Tesla. Between a massive trunk, a front trunk, a sub trunk under the big trunk in the rear and rear seats that fold flat, the smallest Tesla, the 5 passenger Model 3 has tons of space. Check out this video (time stamp 13:06 is him unloading his car 🙂. ) It is an interesting video...and includes what he doesn't like about the early 2018 Model 3. Amazing amount of travel back in early autopilot and supercharger expansion growth phases.
The government is forcing us to buy EVs that we cant afford and taking away our gas cars. No one is being forced off of the roads and no, the government isn’t the driving force behind the switch to EVs other than to try to help facilitate it. Tesla didn’t start implementing Elons secret plan (check it out in the JustFacts section) due to any government direction back 15 or so years ago. And the car companies aren’t driven by the government to switch over to EVs because the government says so…they and big oil have sufficient lobbyists to keep their senators and representatives happy forever…what is driving the car companies is simply technology and fear.
They know the technology is here because Tesla and now other pure EV startups have shown them (and in the case of Tesla with 3,300 patents that they have made free for anyone to use, easily obtainable by the car companies). And with Tesla not only profitable but also now a bigger market cap than the top 20 car manufacturers combined, the fear is that they either adapt or become the next Kodak (who ignored the switch to digital photography until those little startups took over the entire industry…remember how crappy those few attempts Kodak finally made with digital cameras were?) Fear also drives the government. They all want to be sure that their own car companies don’t go out of business through idiocy or failure to adapt, so sure there will be incentives to help them and also incentives to help people get over the financial hurdles as car companies drive prices down. Personally I would much rather be driving an American made car like a Tesla or Ford or GM or Rivian or Lucid or at least a foreign car company that makes cars in the US rather than a car that has to be imported into the US. And I rather enjoy the sight of Tesla building their own manufacturing facility in China (a first for US car companies) and also in Germany, building their own cars and even battery packs locally to where they are selling the cars (less global shipping and more profits for an American company). Not slighting foreign car companies as they also will likely end up doing the same things with EVs as they go more vertical integration in the manufacturing process.
The switch to EVs is causing gas prices to go up. No, this isn’t why gas prices are up. Gas prices are up for two main reasons: supply and demand. The former is dictated mostly by OPEC, the latter more recently by world events. Gas prices dropped dramatically in 2020 due to shutdowns worldwide which affected travel, manufacturing, and most other oil use massively, we of course ended up with less demand so price per barrel dropped way down and gas price at the pump fell. This also caused rigs to shut down in the US, refineries to trim back, etc…basically what happens normally every 4-10 years when OPEC (ie the Saudis) manipulate the oil industry to cripple the US ability to produce oil (wife worked for oil companies in the Permian basin her whole life so saw this first hand in Midland, TX). Then of course everybody opened up their lockdowns a bit sooner than expected as vaccines came out way sooner than expected (some places obviously opening up too soon). So travel has surged, oil demand is massively up, OPEC tweaked their barrel prices way up, and suddenly oil is profitable enough again to open up rigs and start drilling again in the US…taking a while to get back into gear again, so yes…a slave to the oil giants prices.
At some point in the EV transition, oil prices will drop (lower demand again coming into play…maybe 10 years from now), but yes way in the future gasoline will get expensive or simply hard to find as gas stations shut down pumps or simply close up shop. Remember what happened when leaded gas was the thing until they figured out that breathing lead fumes might not be good…and the griping over the government getting people to switch…and the angst about being able to find leaded gas pumps as some cars couldn’t use unleaded…then the griping because leaded gas was more expensive? Seen any leaded gas pumps lately? 😈.
My Iphone battery barely lasts 2 years, no way an ev battery can last much longer. Actually there is a way and it is pretty simple. Phone batteries can go through a whole cycle in a day, often from 100% charge to 0% charge many days. The problem is simply that is one battery…and lithium ion batteries are lucky to get 500 cycles if they are constantly fully charged and then fully discharged per cycle. So, why do some phone batteries last longer than 500 days? Well using half of the charge in a battery and then charging it back up isn’t a cycle…doing that twice would be considered a cycle…and Apple has confirmed that in testing as have independent studies.
So, what is different in, say, my Tesla? Well, for one thing the individual batteries have been optimized at the chemistry and constructIon level for use in EVs…capable of high current charge and discharge for obvious reasons. Also, the batteries are thermally managed to prevent overheating but equally important to warm them up if they are too cold when charging or discharging. And, equally important, there are small buffers put in place to prevent fully discharging the batteries and rules put in place to limit people charging to 100% unless they are ready to go on a long trip. On top of that, there are 4,416 batteries in say a Model 3 battery pack and each can be taken out of use individually if needed without much impact on range. All this means is that the batteries can last 1500 cycles (4000+ cycles for the new lfp batteries in the low end teslas) so my Model 3 Stealth with its 300 mile range can be expected to get 300*1500=450,000 miles of lifetime before the batteries need to be replaced and possibly be recommissioned as solar storage arrays (the battery pack typically won’t die in that period, just drop below 70% capacity and become too annoying to use from a range point of view.) And yes, ultimately the batteries can simply be recycled as no material is actually destroyed permanently during a lithium ion battery lifetime.
Tesla only exists because it gets billions in loans from the government. Tesla survives soley on incentives. Tesla costs the US taxpayer by selling carbon tax credits to other car companies. Where to start, I guess at the beginning... Tesla bought its first manufacturing site in Fremont. Back in 2008/2009 when GM and Chrysler ended up getting bailed out to the tune of almost $81 billion (GM $52 billion. GMAC $17 billion, Chrysler $12 billion), and Ford got a hefty $6 billion loan, Tesla got a small $465 million loan but ended up paying it back early with penalties (for paying it back early). Tesla was able to buy the old GM Fremont factory for a penny on the dollar not long after GM abandoned the factory and its union employees in June 2009. Ford has yet to pay back its full loan, btw. GM and Chrysler paid back their “loan” portion of the bailouts (GM $6.7 billion, Chrysler $10.6 billion) but the government still lost big money on the deal.
And no, Tesla selling tax credits wasn’t Tesla profiting off of our taxes as much as it was our legacy gas car companies paying money to Tesla so that they wouldn’t have to pay even more to the US government at tax time due to penalties. They are the ones that decided to stiff the American taxpayers, not Tesla. Always about money and the bottom dollar. Also, Tesla federal tax incentives expired in 2019 and sales have skyrocketed ever since. The incentives aren’t put in place to help the rich…they just help ease the adoption of EVs in a similar manner that cash for clunkers and other programs helped ease the transition away from lead fueled and basically older polluting vehicles years ago. Similar logic to giving incentives to add better insulation in your homes, upgrade to more energy efficient appliances, etc…people need incentives sometimes 🙂
I will never buy an EV. This is a common chant on comment sections of EV related material. A bit akin to someone walking into a Burger king and yelling "I will never buy a Whopper" and then walking out. May be true depending on how old they are but otherwise time isn't on this persons side. Over the next 10 years as the transition proceeds, more and more gas stations will shut down as they lose business and gas will become increasingly hard to buy. The reason isn't complicated. Gas stations make literally only a few cents profit per gallon of gas sold, so need those lottery tickets and hot dogs and pop and expensive groceries to sell to people just stopping by for a fill up, When people can charge their cars at home that group of people won’t show up at the gas station for old times sake. Think about what your habits would be if, for say $150, you could buy a magic gas hose that hung on your garage wall and gave you gas for $1.00 a gallon with no fumes, always magically full, you get home and stick it in the car without even touching the car and then walk away. Letting the car fill up at an optimal time overnight. How often would you really use the gas stations then…keeping in mind that hotels on road trips would have magic hoses to use overnight as well…for free. Sure you would pay the extra money at gas stations on freeways on long trips, but as sparingly as possible. It’s a different mindset is all. Now consider on top of that EVs are also more efficient, so the costs savings are also better than that $1.00 a gallon. For example, it costs me $1.00 to charge up at home for 50 miles of city driving in my 460 HP tesla model 3 stealth…and I tend to drive a bit spirited off the lights. You can do the math for your own performance car or even your high mpg car and see what your costs are…we travel a lot of 700-800 mile per day trips but still my lifetime charging costs over 27,000 miles is $800.
But if we still want other products made out of oil but gasoline and diesel fuel aren't used anymore what happens to the gasoline and diesel fuel produced in the refining process. The easy answer is nothing...they just eventually won't be produced as part of the oil refining process. Companies started addressing this years ago as part of the EV transition...The Saudis leading the way. See this link.
There is no way we can mine enough raw minerals and manufacture enough products to achieve clean energy, let alone just EVs for people, without harming the environment even more than we do using fossil fuels.
This is a common argument that totally ignores reality. See the link below, but in a nutshell here are two exerpts:
"Assigning all 328 million Americans equal share of our fossil fuel use, every American burns 1.6 tons of coal, 1.5 tons of natural gas, and 3.1 tons of oil every year. That becomes around 17 tons of carbon dioxide, none of which is captured. It is all tossed like trash into the atmosphere.
The same US lifestyle could be achieved with around 110 pounds each of wind turbines, solar modules, and batteries per person per year, except that all of those are quite recyclable (and getting more recyclable all the time) so there is reason to believe it will amount to only 50-100 pounds per year of stuff that winds up as trash.
That is a huge difference: 34,000 pounds of waste for our lifestyles the old way versus 100 pounds the new, electrified way.”
“…the scale of resource extraction in a decarbonized world will be vastly, vastly smaller than what’s required to sustain a fossil-fueled society. Close to 40 percent of all global shipping is devoted to moving fossil fuels around, a gargantuan source of emissions (and strain on the ocean) that clean energy will almost wipe out. In a net-zero economy, there will be, on net, less digging, less transporting, less burning, less polluting.
The fact is, fossil fuels are a wildly destructive and inefficient way to power a society. Two thirds of the energy embedded in them ends up wasted.”
The link to this detailed analysis is here ... other info on newer Battery technologies that don't use Cobalt and even Nickel and some even cleaner and faster ways of extracting Lithium from clay using table salt can be found in links on the justfacts page. Technology keeps advancing.
If the USPS switches to EVs the price of stamps will go up. The price of stamps always goes up but it definitely wouldn't be because of EVs. If anything, EVs will save the post office a lot of money...not only because they would cost less to build, but also less to maintain and massively less of a "fueling" cost. The following two images contain more info:
But what about those pictures of EVs sitting in a junkyard/field in France/Europe with bad batteries? Obviously people who post things like this either can't bother to do a quick google search to check the validity of that statement or simply don't care. Here is one of many answers that explained the pictures quite concisely: France EVs
As population grows, we need more electricity so adding EVs to the grid will compound that need for more electricity. While it is true that population growth has been pretty linear since the 1950s, an interesting thing happened around 2005 as the US started to show the benefits of energy conservation developments in the late 1990s...our energy use as a country stopped increasing as it had and stayed around 4 trillion kwh per year...even though during that time our reserve generating capacity increased from 8 trillion kwh per year to 10+ trillion kwh per year by the end of 2020 to handle emergencies and peak hourly rate usage. How did this happen? Technology mostly...Incandescent to CFL to LED was big as was dual speed motor designs that improved appliance efficiency and better HVAC systems overall and going forward we should see more use of heatpump water heaters (that alone would save me the cost of charging my car for 40 miles of daily city driving...as would switching my pool pump to a dual speed motor once my current one burns out.). Technology keeps advancing.
So, is there enough electricity if every car in the US was an EV? The answer is yes and it is surprisingly pretty simple math. First the givens: miles driven in the US per year is 3 trillion miles and average miles per kwh of EVs is 4. That gives us 0.75 trillion kwh of electricity needed per year to charge every car. Now, even though this ignores the fact that getting rid of the electricity needed from well to pump for gasoline is sizable, lets round this 0.75 trillion kwh needed in the US up to 1 trillion kwh just to make the math easier. In real life that means we use 20% less electricity currently (4 trillion kwh is 80% of 5 trillion kwh) but, since our generation capacity is over 10 trillion kwh AND most EV charging is off peak, then we arent even close to stressing the grid...from an EV point of view. We will need more electricity and improvement of the grid, but that will be driven by the switch from fossil fuels for industrial processes and residential uses...but that is a different discussion (see Teslas Master Plan Part 3 and their latest impact report for more info on that).
EVs cause more CO2 production than ICE cars because of the manufacturing process of the batteries and also because the electricity generation creates CO2. In actuality, this is incorrect. The usual argument I use is that the EV reaches carbon parity within the first year of ownership to account for the extra CO2 produced mining and manufacting the battery pack, but a recent study that is discussed here (the study link itself is here) showed that the manufacturing process of gas cars is responsible for more CO2 production than EVs even including the battery mining and manufacturing processes. Also, the actual electricity production causing CO2? I cover that here. So the net result...massively less CO2 impact for an EV vs an ICE.