ORIGINAL REPORTING: Transportation Electrification Hits The Accelerator
Unlocking the Transition: As Tesla, Ford and others invest billions in EVs, will the power system be ready? The new White House zero emission vehicle target of 50% of new car sales by 2030 has a long way to go, a short time to get there, and big challenges along the way.
Herman K. Trabish, November 3, 2021 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: This was written before gas pump prices hit $7. Now the pedal is pressed to the floor.
Transitioning transportation, the nation's biggest source of carbon emissions, to clean electricity is urgent, but will not be easy, according to charging companies, auto industry analysts and others.
President Joe Biden's Aug. 5 Executive Order calls for 50% of annual U.S. new car sales to be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030. But of the estimated 14.5 million U.S. new car sales in 2020, only about 306,000, or 2.1%, were ZEVs, and only about 2 million of the nearly 290 million registered vehicles on U.S. roads are EVs.
Newer numbers, however, suggest "an exponential ZEV uptake" has started, said Garrett Fitzgerald, electrification principal at the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA). "New ZEV sales increased from 1.5% in H1 2020 to 2.5% in H1 2021" and "were 3.6% of Q2 2021 new car sales."
Ford, General Motors and Stellantis are planning a total of over 50 new ZEV models "because they see they will lose market share if they don't," Commissioner Tremaine Phillips of the Michigan Public Service Commission said. "Those automakers have committed to a decades-long, billion-dollar transition, which tells me the vehicles are coming."
Private sector investments by automaker and charger providers and some state policies approving utility investments recovered from ratepayers have already seed-funded the transportation electrification transition, automakers, analysts, and charger providers said. They now have White House backing and are likely to soon get a boost from federal infrastructure legislation, they added.
But while those forces grow the numbers of EVs on the road, power system providers and their regulators need to face the challenge of unprecedented amounts and types of electricity demand, they said… click here for more