Americans bought 96,000 electric cars last year, up 84% from 2012. Sales are set to increase year on year as the government and the green lobby push us to find cleaner alternatives for everything we do in life.
The International Energy Agency estimates there will be 20 million electric cars on the worlds roads by 2020, but there’s no mention what those cars will do to ailing power grids across the planet.
The United States power grid is barely fit for purpose as it is. It struggles to cope in times of excessive demand, such as when millions of air conditioning units are running in the summer, or there is excessively cold weather in winter. Adding a few million electric cars into the mix could well provide the straw that breaks this particular camel's back.
Energy companies, who are not slow in hiking prices at the best of times, will see usage peaks as people arrive home from work and need to charge their vehicles; and where there are usage peaks there are higher prices. Those prices will not be for the individuals that own the electric cars, they will be for everyone who uses electricity during the peak period.
Level one charging, where you simply plug your car into a wall socket in your garage, takes much longer to charge the car than having a level two charging station installed. There’s a good explanation of the differences here. Plugging in at home will take 22 hours to charge an average electric car from empty to full. You get around 4.5 miles range per hour of charge.
General Motors estimates that the Chevy Volt will use 2,520 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year for average driving distances in average conditions. Remember, I am not talking about running costs here, I am talking about the amount of electricity taken out of the grid to charge electric cars.
The US Energy Information Administration estimates the average US home uses around 900kWh of electricity per month. So by comparison, the electric car seems pretty good, 2520 kWh per year and the average home comes in at 10,800 kWh per year, but, as usual, there’s a but.
Based on the General Motors figures, four electric cars will equal one house in terms of electricity demand. The 96,000 electric cars purchased last year are drawing the equivalent of 24,000 homes from the already overstretched grid. Should the rise in electric vehicle usage continue at the same pace, 178,560 new electric vehicles will be purchased this year. Those vehicles will use as much electricity as 44,640 homes, and don’t forget the vehicles brought last year, and the year before, and the year before that are not included in that figure.
As an example, this is almost four times the number of homes than there are in Westport, Connecticut, ten times the number of residential homes in Placerville, California and half the number of residences in Boise, Idaho.
Electric cars are drawing the equivalent of a decent sized town, or half a city’s worth of electricity a year from the grid.
Remember, this is only based on new sales, not including all the electric cars currently on the roads of the United States.
As we are constantly pushed to move away from gasoline and other fossil fuels the number of electric cars on our roads will continue to increase. Incentives to offset the cost of installing charging stations in domestic properties makes the cheap-to-run electric vehicles an even better proposition. They are cheaper to run based on the current cost of gas against the current cost of electricity, but their very nature says they will become useless rust buckets should the grid fail, and unless something is done to improve this critical infrastructure, fail it will.
The ‘green’ lobby and the government are pushing a technology that will ultimately result in millions of deaths due to grid failure. The grid as it stands cannot meet the demands of supplying an extra city’s worth of electricity each year.
Economically those who are driving electric cars may be saving money over using the combustion engine, but their personal savings come at a price and a high price at that.
Crashing the power grid because of increasing numbers of electric cars seems rather like cutting your nose off to spite your face. My purely personal opinion is that this is very short-sighted as it leaves us facing the possibility of rolling outages and all the difficulties that entails, just to fulfill the green agenda and the tax revenue it raises.
The green agenda is at best dangerously flawed and at worse a possible kill shot for millions of American citizens. Life as we know it is changing, and there is every possibility that those changes will speed up as the government and their corporate partners continue to push their dangerous policies down the throats of the American people.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared. Wake the flock up!
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