On Earth Day, a new white paper released by IEE — an Institute of The Edison Foundation — entitled “Forecast of On-Road Electric Transportation in the U.S. (2010-2035)
,” projects that even under the most conservative of scenarios more than 5-million electric vehicles (EVs) will be on the road by 2035. This figure could actually increase to as high as 30 million EVs depending on advances in battery technology.
Lisa Wood, IEE’s Executive Director and Vice President of the Edison Foundation, said, “Opportunities for electrification in the transportation sector are large and advanced batteries are a major driver. Electric transportation makes economic and environmental sense. Approximately 90,000 Americans have said goodbye to the pump and hello to the plug due to battery advancements and a growing selection of car models that has made driving an EV more accessible than ever before. This number will only grow.”
Under the medium electric transportation scenario, based on advances in battery technology, including improvements in cost and performance, electric light duty vehicles (LDVs) comprise 10 percent of the registered vehicle stock (roughly 25 million out of 261 million light duty vehicles), and electricity consumption increases by 112 TWh in 2035. The switch to electric LDVs reduces vehicle emissions by 41 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent in the year 2035 based on a 2035 power generation mix and a more efficient stock of light duty vehicles.
In 2010, the transportation sector comprised 29 percent of total national energy consumption in the U.S., making it the second largest consumer of energy, behind only the industrial sector. Fossil fuels currently make up about 99 percent of the fuel in transportation. However, the opportunity to implement efficient and cost-effective new electric transportation technologies is large, and electrification is beginning to gain traction in a variety of transportation applications.
“Electric power is transforming America’s transportation landscape while saving consumers money at the pump, reducing our dependence on oil, and making our environment cleaner,” said Dale Bryk, Director of the Energy & Transportation Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Cleaner energy means cleaner skies, which is something to be thankful for this Earth Day.”