US infrastructure is nowhere near ready for Biden’s electric vehicle timeline

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By Paul Homewood

From The Hill:

U.S. policymakers are going all-in on electric vehicles (EVs), but the supporting infrastructure will require vast upgrades to be ready for the giant changeover.

President Biden recently announced an objective of increasing U.S. EV production to 50 percent of the U.S. fleet by 2030. It’s a very aggressive goal. 

Current production sits at just 3-4 percent. Even to reach a more realistic 10 percent, the industry must undergo a massive transformation. We’ll need hundreds of thousands of new charging stations. We’ll need more electricity and better ways to store it. And though Biden is providing $3.1 billion in grants to seed the process, the private sector will need to step up in a major way. 

First thing to state is that the author is clearly lobbying for EVs, with for instance silly statements like this:

In 2021, EV and hybrid sales nearly doubledAs younger, more green-conscious buyers arrive in the market, that’s only bound to accelerate.  “

I doubt whether many young drivers will be able to afford the odd $50 grand to buy one. Or whether the vast majority of young drivers are quite as green as he imagines.

But let’s look at a couple of the facts he has presented:

1) President Biden recently announced an objective of increasing U.S. EV production to 50 percent of the U.S. fleet by 2030. It’s a very aggressive goal. 

Current production sits at just 3-4 percent.

There is of course a world of difference between setting a target and what cars people decide to buy.

And clearly it is not possible to bribe them with subsidies, because it will simply end up meaning that drivers subsidise themselves.

2) We’ll need hundreds of thousands of new charging stations. Today, America has about 145,000 gas stations. Yet peddling electricity is an entirely different animal. It takes just five minutes to fill up a tank. Recharging a battery runs 25-30 — at best. 

In reality that five minutes gives you maybe 500 miles. To match that the EV would need to be recharged perhaps three times, making a total charging time of 90 minutes.

Even allowing for some cars being charged at home, we are looking at 1 million EV stations, as a minimum.

At, say, $1 million each, we are looking at an investment of $1 trillion. (Ten chargers at $100,000 – this is probably optimistic, as the cost of land and power infrastructure would be extra)

The author is right in stating that most of this will have to come from private capital. It is certain that Congress will never agree to pay more than the token amounts already pledged.

But here is the dilemma. No business is going to lay out this sort of capital, and then have it sit more or less idle for years, waiting for demand to pick up.

Equally, drivers are not going to buy EVs until the charging infrastructure is in place.

It is not possible to ban petrol cars in the US, as we are here, because the Federal Government does not have that power constitutionally, as that power lies with the States.

In all, it would appear that Biden’s target is just hot air, just another example of how he has lost touch with the reality of ordinary people’s lives.

via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

JUNE 7, 2022