This page will become a source of sanity against the absolute lies, manipulation, and drivel spouted by glassy-eyed, mouth-breathing MORONS like Pete Butt-Gauge.
What are the power requirements to replace all ICEVs with EVs?
Power needed for daily recharging of EVs in the United States
It will take HUNDREDS OF YEARS to convert the United States to electric cars!
Americans drove over 3.2 TRILLION miles in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
If every mile was driven solely by one of those Tesla Model 3s, that's 768 TeraWatt-Hours per year.
|3,200,000,000,000 miles × 240 watt-hours (Wh) per mile = 768,000,000,000,000 Wh = 768,000,000,000 kWh = 768,000,000 MWh = 768,000 GWh = 768 TWh per year.|
Spread evenly, that's an average of 2.1 TeraWatts per day.
|768 TWh ÷ 365.25 days per year = 2,102,679,404,517.45 Wh per day ≈ 2.1 TWh per day.|
To put that into perspective, that's enough energy to transport Marty McFly back to 1955 more than 630,000 times!
The average size of a nuclear power plant in the United States is 1049.28 MW.
That means that if everyone charged their cars over the same one-hour stretch, that's a peak demand which requires MORE THAN 2,000 NEW NUCLEAR REACTORS to be brought online.
|2,102,679,404,517.45 Wh ÷ 1,049,282,353 watts over a one-hour recharge = 2,003.91 ≈ 2,004 more reactors.|
It takes 80 months to complete a nuclear reactor, and if the worst-case scenario happened, where one had to be finished before the next one could start, then it would take 13,360 YEARS to meet the 2021 peak demand for EV charging.
|2,004 reactors × 80 months = 160,320 months ÷ 12 months in a year = 13,360 years.|
If we finished one reactor A MONTH (taking just 1/80th of the current time to build) then it would still take over 160 YEARS to get those built... and that won't be enough because more people will be around by then.
Most people don't like to wait a FULL HOUR to regain the ability to use a vehicle's maximum range... so if you wanted to reduce your charge time to 30 minutes, then the power generation would need to DOUBLE, requiring over 4,000 new reactors, and taking 334 YEARS to build at one per month.
Want to match the refuel time of good ol' gasoline at 5 minutes? Guess what that means? Multiply the original figures by TWELVE.
To achieve EV recharge to replace the energy used in daily driving in just 5 minutes — to match the refuel time of fossil fuels — you would need 24,048 NEW nuclear reactors built, and even if you built one a WEEK it would take almost 476 YEARS to reach that goal. Building only one at a time, using the current build schedule, that would be a staggering 160,320 YEARS!
So, to summarize...
There's a 0.00000% chance that the United States will go "full electric" by 2030.
(...or 2050, ...or 2090)
What are the material requirements to replace all ICEVs with EVs?
Let's do the math.
286 million vehicles are currently registered in the United States.
If all were Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus vehicles, then that's 286 million battery packs, all 50 kWh in size.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, EVs require 24kg of cobalt per 100 kWh of lithium battery capacity.
So that's 12kg per Tesla, or 2,432 kilotons of Cobalt.
|12kg × 286,000,000 = 2,432,000,000kg = 2,432,000 metric tons = 2,432 kilotons|
According to the USGS March 2021 report, 2,290 metric tons of cobalt was extracted, world-wide, with only 1,000 metric tons being metallic, the rest were trapped in oxides, hydroxides, salts, and other compounds.
So that means that at the production levels of March 2021, that would take 88.5 years of global cobalt production, just to meet the demand for US EVs today.
|2,432,000 tons needed ÷ 2,290 tons produced in March 2021 = 1,062.01 months = 88.5 years = 88 years, 6 months|
Nobody else on the planet gets to use any cobalt for nearly the next century... the full capacity of planetary production is used ONLY for EVs in the United States.
It will also take 100+ years of non-stop global Lithium mining to meet ONLY United States EV demand for full fleet conversion.
There are 286 million active vehicles in the United States, and the absolute best production year for Tesla was 300,000 units.
Tesla would have to keep up their all-time-high production for another 953 YEARS just to meet 2021 EV demand.
(That's assuming Tesla are the only ones making EVs. If they only produced 20% of EVs for US electrification, that's STILL 191 YEARS.)
Taking Tesla's 13-year 500,000 TOTAL EV production from the total, then those additional 285.5 million vehicles — if all were the base model of the Model 3 — would require 12.85 Megatons of lithium.
|285,500,000 vehicles × 45 kg of Lithium per 50 kWh = 12,847,500,000 kg = 12.8475 Megatons ≈ 12.85 Megatons|
As the all-time-high global lithium production was in 2019 at around 76.7 Kilotons... this means that we need 168 YEARS of global Lithium mining to meet the 2021 MINIMUM demand for EV batteries, and ONLY for the United States.
|12,847,500,000 kg current MINIMUM EV demand for Lithium ÷ 76,700,000 kg of global Lithium production = 167.50326 years = 167 years, 6 months, 1 day ≈ 168 years|
What if everyone isn't happy with a small passenger car for an EV?
What if everyone continues the (idiotic) trend of buying ever-larger, ever-more-expensive SUVs, crossovers, trucks, and other ungainly gigantic land barges?
So if all 286 million vehicles are instead gigantic SUVs and pickup trucks, then those battery packs would average around 200 kWh, so all numbers above would need to be multiplied by FOUR.
That requires over 350 years to mine enough cobalt, and over 670 years to mine enough lithium.