The Energy Lie

or why there isn’t an energy shortage, just because electric cars

Things to keep in mind

  • The efficiency of an average driven gasoline ICE car is less than 20%
  • The efficiency of an ICE generator can reach 30%, maybe approach 40%
  • Electric cars can have up to 90% efficiency, including charging loss

The false equivalency

There’s a point against electric cars I hear very often: We can’t create enough electric energy to power all the electric cars. If we’d have to switch right now, we’d life in the dark.

There’s not enough solar to power all cars, if we’d replace them with electric cars right now. There’s not enough wind. It would even be complicated with nuclear.

This might be very well true, but somehow, it always felt besides the point.

Our infrastructure would collapse trying to distribute so much electricy from ramped up, existing generator based sources (coal, oil, gasoline…).

This statement may be true, but it still always felt besides the point.

The actual point

Each car replaced by an EV means one car less using gasoline energy. Which would then be available. At the gas station of choice, to use for whatever. You could buy it, take it home, run a generator and charge your car. Smart? No. Doable? Yes.

A better solution

Gas-Stations would lose clients, as they switch to EV. They could get a generator. They have all the equipment. They have huge gasoline tanks, pumps to get them to the generator. They are connected to the grid. And they have infrastructure to get fresh gasoline, as they need it nowadays, too.

They don’t care who buys their energy. A car while filling up, or a car charging at home/work from electricity they generated when burning the gasoline themselves. So, for every ICE-Client they use, they can burn that gasoline and feed it to the grid.

What it would solve

  • There would be enough energy in gasoline form to generate the needed electricity, as that amount of energy gets used directly in cars right now. It would actually still need less energy, given the higher efficiency of generators and EVs, compared to ICE cars.
  • The whole infrastructure from source to client is already there. A simple generator between gas-pump and power-grid is all that’s needed. It combines two existing infrastructures that work since many decades.
  • It would be a _very_ local energy source. Nearly every village, nearly every city district has _at least_ one gas station nearby. Any non-local powercut could be balanced out by just ramping up the local gas-station, potentially get more gasoline delivered asap.
  • It would be a very distributed energy source. The gas-station network is massively distributed, so the grid would be very self-balancing, which would lead to stability overall.

Is this the future?

But it would be doable. Right now. It would separate that implicit link between EVs and their need for green energy sources that are very often not yet ready. It would solve many issues current grids have. It would allow the oil industry to gradually move from car-energy providers to generic grid-power providers (and thus lets them sell different sources of energy, too, and evolve).

Over time, we should get rid of oil-dependency. Over time, we should be 100% green energy only. This here is just a mind-game. What it tells us is one thing: There’s enough energy around for EVs right now. We’re ready for all of them.

And in the end, we’d still be more efficient. In the end, we’d still be more green. Even in that worst case scenario put up here.

Nontheless

I hope we’ll all drive electric one day, powered by green, renewable sources. But until that day, we have to get rid of ICE cars anyways. Otherwise, all the green renewable energy sources will arrive, and everyone drives still on gasoline. At least, by now, no one tells me again and again, that we will be “out of power” suddenly. We won’t.

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