In recent years, spikes in electricity demand during heat waves have contributed to rolling blackouts. But EV charging doesn't have to overload the grid, and the reason is the peaks and valleys in energy use.
Connecting electric vehicles to the national power grid could open the door to cyberattacks and widespread power outages unless regulators get the security settings right early, experts warn.
Using electric vehicles like the batteries they are would help the overall electricity grid during times of strain. As Axios put it: “As more cars plug in, EVs could actually make the grid more resilient by supplying electricity back to the network when it's needed most.”
While the world does have enough lithium to power the electric vehicle revolution, it's less a question of quantity, and more a question of accessibility. Earth has approximately 88 million tonnes of lithium, but only one-quarter is economically viable to mine as reserves.
Running Out of Lithium
An inability to produce enough lithium would result in severe delays to the roll out and implementation of electric transport and renewable power – as such, it is fair to question whether there is enough of the prized element to meet global needs.
What are the long-term prospects for lithium demand? The raw material remains important in the long term – says, for example, Nobel Prize winner M. Stanley Wittingham, who once laid the scientific foundations for the batteries used today. “It will be lithium for the next 10 to 20 years,” says Wittingham.
The existential threat to the U.S. Energy Grid can come from a variety of angles. Both weather and solar storms, are top factors for power outages in the United States (one other big factor is outages from squirrels hanging out on transformers and transmission lines!).
An uptick in ballistic damage, intrusion (tampering) and vandalism incidents drove the increase in "grid impacting" incidents since 2021, according to the analysis.
Lithium ion (Li-ion) battery fires are still a common problem. Although EVs are not gasoline-powered and full of combustible fuel, they can still catch fire unexpectedly. The batteries in these vehicles have been known to overheat, burst into flames, or even explode.
Can the power grid actually handle that many electric cars? In simplest terms, yes, it can. But the deeper answer is a bit more complicated. The capacity is there, but to truly handle this new surge in EV grid demand, it will take planning on the part of utility companies across the U.S.
However, the chief problem with off-the-grid solar is installing enough energy storage capacity to meet all your power needs. It is very expensive to install enough battery capacity for the times when you are not generating solar energy. To learn more about energy storage, check out our Solar Battery Guide.
An EMP produces a powerful wave of energy that causes dramatic voltage surges in electric systems. As a result, it can shut down vast areas of electric grids, systems, and devices while drastically overheating, degrading, or destroying their components.
Arguably, one of the significant problems to overcome in Australia, before widespread consumer adoption of EVs, is a lack of infrastructure for power generation and EV charging, ranging from the electricity grid to household levels.
The average lifetime mileage of an ICE vehicle is about 133,000 miles. While experts estimate the average EV battery will last around 200,000 miles, some manufacturers already promise much more than that.
Generally, electric vehicle batteries last 10-20 years, but some factors may reduce their lifespan. For instance, batteries may degrade faster in hotter climates as heat does not pair well with EVs.
The problem that dominates the public discussion on energy is climate change. A climate crisis endangers the natural environment around us, our wellbeing today and the wellbeing of those who come after us.
Coal, again, is the dirtiest fuel. It emits much more greenhouse gases than other sources – hundreds of times more than nuclear, solar, and wind. Oil and gas are also much worse than nuclear and renewables, but to a lesser extent than coal.
Coal is by far the worst emitter, followed by natural gas, with solar, wind and nuclear all low-carbon.
Bolivia has the highest identified lithium resources in the world with 20 million tonnes, as per the US Geological Survey data.
U.S. geological survey the world is getting better at mining battery metals including lithium. As of 2021, it was estimated that the world had 88 million tonnes of lithium resources.
According to Protocol, the ratio of electric cars to gas cars will gradually increase too: By 2025, electric vehicle sales could comprise up to 20% of new car sales. By 2030, electric vehicle sales could reach 40% of new car sales. By 2040, electric vehicle sales could account for nearly all new car sales.