While electric cars have many advantages over internal combustion vehicles, we have often wondered when their disadvantages would be outweighed to such an extent that it would make sense to make them the dominant mode of transportation. While there are many issues that need to be addressed, one of the most important is finding a way to get the kind of energy the world needs to regularly recharge them.
An EV-dominated society likely means high energy prices and peak demand times that could easily overload national energy grids. Renewable energy sources may also prove insufficient to provide the kind of energy needed – potentially forcing countries to double their spending on coal, oil and natural gas-dependent power plants if nuclear facilities are not approved. However, counterproductive takes like this are often downplayed, so industrial giants can continue to proclaim the technology to be largely problem free.
But what happens when the EV levy starts making similar claims about our collective energy needs?
On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said global electricity consumption would likely double as electric vehicles become the norm. While that doesn’t take into account the additional energy needs created by our increased reliance on digital devices (which is already difficult to calculate as electronics become more efficient), he believes it will create a massive demand for nuclear power. , solar, wind and geothermal. solutions if sustainability is to be considered.
In an interview with Berlin publisher Axel Springer, hosted by Germany Photo on Sunday, Musk said the energy supply needed to power electric vehicles would become the biggest hurdle over the next two decades. This is actually something experts have been considering for some time and Germany, in particular, has had to contend with, as its own massive push towards sustainable energy has proven to be, in large part, unsustainable. .
Despite the advance of one of the most ambitious excursions in wind and solar shortly after the start of the 21st century as part of its energetic transition program, Germany’s emissions stagnated in 2009. In 2018, the country was actually increasing its use of coal-fired power plants to meet its growing energy needs, and public opinion on renewables declined dramatically. While part of this has been blamed on the country avoiding nuclear power, there is growing skepticism that the country can actually maintain its current energy use on the promise that wind and solar power will become more efficient and cheaper in the years to come. Although even dissidents are not thrilled at the prospect of becoming increasingly dependent on limited resources like coal or new concepts like national energy rationing.
Either way, the problem will be exacerbated by an influx of electric vehicles.
“It will take another 20 years for cars to be fully electric. It’s like with phones, you can’t replace them all at once, ”Musk said in a discussion on the image website.
“We need sustainable energy,” he continued. “If something goes wrong, we don’t stop producing CO2 and still have to make the transition to sustainable energy production.”
But Elon warned that sometimes the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine on the vast solar panels needed to harvest and store the energy needed. He envisioned a future where most people had solar cells in their homes and businesses. Buildings would also use batteries connected to improved energy grids to help offset peak hours and reduce the likely higher cost of electricity.
Musk also noted to his German audience that he was not opposed to nuclear power, and went so far as to suggest that it might even be necessary if we are to meet the electricity needs of tomorrow – which he believes would double by 2040.
The rest of the interview revolved around Tesla’s plan to build its fourth gigafactory in the region, general thoughts on the future, and his own theory, we’ll have electrified jets within five years. If you speak German (or are a former Google Translate pro) and are the least interested in global energy solutions, the interview is worth reading. If not, image also released the video footage in English.