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 terawatt-hours 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 1,049.28 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)
Inevitably EV zealots will always respond "It's ridiculous to assume that everybody will be plugged in at the same time", since EV enthusiasts think it's okay for you to completely re-tool your whole existence to overcome the horrible limitations of EV charging and wait HOURS for a recharge. EV evangelists always add "You don't have to change your schedule at all... just charge while you sleep.", ignorantly assuming that you'll NEVER need to charge your EV while you're awake. [facepalm]
So let's calculate the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM power requirement, making some GLARING assumptions, those being:
- We're going to spread out the annual load evenly, so that there are no spikes whatsoever
- We're going to spread out the daily recharge demand evenly over the entire 24 hours, so that at any given moment, the exact same number of vehicles will be plugged in and charging. The ONLY way to do this is to ration charging times so that you have your scheduled "recharge slot" where you get to charge your EV and if you miss it, you're walking.
(Under the above assumptions, total recharge time is irrelevant because we're spreading out the whole daily load as flat as possible.)
The math, if using the "each car is rationed to a particular 1-hour stretch, so that the load for daily recharge is perfectly and evenly spread throughout the entire day" scheme (one as unlikely as everyone synchronizing their watches for a globally timed mass-recharge), then you're looking at the 2.1 TWh needed every day ÷ 24 hours = 87.5 GW of continuous power draw. Since the average nuclear reactor puts out about 1 GW, then — at a MINIMUM — that's 88 reactors going full-blast 24/7 in perpetuity JUST to meet the LOWEST POSSIBLE demand for daily recharging.
As there are 93 reactors in the United States right now, that represents an absolute minimum of a 95% increase in reactors/reactor output. Since it takes 80 months to build a reactor (if the climate doom cult will even let you build one) it would take over 580 years if all 88 were built one-at-a-time, or if a reactor were started every other month without fail until all were completed, the 88th reactor would come online in February of 2050. (This also assumes zero new vehicles or drivers added to the 2019 total.) The fastest reactor ever built in the United States took 4 years and 2 months, and the last one brought online required 42 years and 9 months.