The Road Ahead
Automakers are in a race to zero (carbon emissions). To promote the adoption and coolness of EVs, President Biden recently test-drove an electric Hummer.
Electric vehicles (EVs) make up less than 1% of the 250 million cars on the road in the U.S. About 17 million new cars are sold each year. Based on some simple math, even if every new car sold in the U.S. were an EV, it would take 15-20 years to replace the existing gasoline-fueled car fleet.
How “green” are EVs? Experts broadly agree that while EVs are more climate friendly than gasoline engines, they too have a cost. The mining of materials produces emissions and the water required for making batteries makes EV manufacturing about 50% more water intensive than gasoline cars.
An all-electric Chevrolet Bolt produces, on average, 189 grams of carbon dioxide for every mile driven versus 385 grams for a gasoline-fueled Toyota Camry. But if the car is charged on a coal-heavy power grid, the climate benefits actually erode.
The takeaway? Like most things in life, there are positives and negatives, and we’re likely a long way from electric vehicles ruling the road.