We know that electric vehicles are 2-3 times as efficient as gas-powered vehicles and have no tailpipe emissions, but just how efficient they are is also dependent on the power grid. In China, for example, some EVs are less efficient than gas-powered vehicles because of the country’s heavy reliance on coal. Some of EV efficiency dims when fossil fuels must be used as a power source. But when clean energy is used to power EVs, transportation is the greenest it can be, eliminating waste and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
How Do I Know If I’m Using Clean Energy?
According to the World Resources Institute, over 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. That’s quite a bit, to say the least. The good news is that the number of EVs on the road is increasing every day. According to the Edison Foundation, 20 million EVs are expected on the road by 2030, up from 2018’s 1 million. According to IEA.org, this number could surpass 250 million EVs globally by 2030.
When EVs use clean energy, their footprint shrinks considerably. How do you know what kind of energy you’re getting?
According to Planet Forward, the mix of fossil fuels and clean energy making up the energy you use depends greatly on where you live. “That’s because the U.S. is broken up into these different interconnections,” says Jordan Schnell, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University.
Number of EVs Expected on the Road by 2030
Using Illinois as an example, he goes on to say, “The Chicago area is different from the rest of Illinois. If you live in central Illinois, you go into a different mix than you do if you live in the Chicagoland area. These are called interconnections.” Iowa, Illinois’s neighbor, is the country’s greatest source of wind energy, with giant turbines lining the landscape, making it a great place for those who want their energy to be as clean as possible. For comparison, West Virginia’s energy is almost entirely coal-fueled.
Is There a Better Time of Day to Charge?
Utilities, automakers, cities, and EV charging providers across the country are rolling out new pilot programs and services which allow residential and commercial customers to use renewable energy for their EV charging needs, so EVs can charge at times when more renewable energy sources on the grid can be integrated.
The best time of day to charge also varies, even with clean energy. Solar energy, while it can be stored, is obviously not being collected at night. Daytime is best to take advantage of solar energy. And while the wind blows all the time, it generates more power at night.
“The Pacific Northwest has a lot of hydroelectric and California is really ramping up its solar,” Schnell also notes. Washington state, for instance, has the smallest carbon footprint and cleanest energy of any state, with a whopping 86% of their energy coming from hydroelectric power, nuclear, and wind.
More EVs are badly needed in Washington, where energy has improved but transportation has not. Despite its clean energy, Washington lacks the number of EVs on the road compared to its neighbors Oregon and California.
Washington Leading the Way
According to Forbes, Washington State has passed the Clean Energy Transformation Act, committing itself entirely to clean energy by 2045. But having clean energy alone doesn’t mean as much if it’s not being used wisely. EV manufacturers have partnered with Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light to bring more EVs to Washington to utilize its clean energy.
While there are currently only 52,000 EVs on the road in Washington in 2020, statistics show that there will 4 million new cars by 2045, and Washington’s goal is to have nearly all of them be electric. Washington’s goal is big, but not impossible, and having a state filled with EVs powered by clean energy would make it the nation’s leader in green technology.
Blink is excited to do our part and partner with utilities, businesses, and consumers to bring green technology to you Discover the difference that the 80 amp, future-proof, Blink IQ 200 charger can make in your hometown.