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Oil in the USA

“Electric vehicles are coal-powered” – This statement, and why people should be very careful about making that claim…

In my post Electric Vehicles 101: Oil vs Battery ‘Myths’, I examined and calculated the total electricity consumption of the world’s oil industry. To recap; the electricity consumed by oil companies around the world each year is enough to power around 74 billion Tesla Model S 100’s.

Many EV haters state that electric cars are really just coal-powered anyway – so why would you buy electric?

As it happens, their claims aren’t entirely baseless – 65.4% of the electricity produced in the United States comes from fossil-fuel or non-renewable sources. But they fall over when one examines the rest of the picture. For example, purchasing either an electric vehicle or a solar array tends to make the other more desirable to the customer.

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The Nissan Leaf – an ideal EV for island nations such as the Cook Islands. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This means that electric vehicles and solar panels work in tandem – every electric vehicle purchased has potential to permanently reduce the load on national electrical grids by up to 20%, because 83% of EV owners in the United States either have solar panels or are considering having them installed.

Elsewhere in the world, electric vehicles are considerably cleaner. In New Zealand, for example, around 82% of electricity comes from solar, hydroelectric dams, or wind. This puts New Zealand in a perfect position to take advantage of electric vehicles, even if they were all charged from the national electrical grid.

Island countries such as the Cook Islands could also take advantage of EVs, with plenty of sun and wind available to generate electricity. Tesla’s new solar roof, or it’s counterpart from Forward Labs, would be ideally suited to powering these homes and their electric cars without messing up the landscape.

All-in-all, a transition to electric vehicles will only accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy – while also putting an end to the most polluting industry the world has ever seen.