Downside of EVs. Not enough power


Western societies are charging into the electrification of transport and heating without actually providing the electricity. This cannot be wished away.
In January, the then secretary of state for trade in Britain, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, told Parliament that “we are going to be requiring up to four times as much electricity” to meet demand for electrified heating and transport. Yet we are not building four times as much electric generation capacity.
The energy legacy of the Conservatives will be the loss of reliable energy. For example, only two years ago, the UK was running 15 operational nuclear reactors, but by 2030 it will be just three, and that’s assuming no further delays. The reality is that we have created two parallel energy systems; one of which works, while the other does not. The politicised grid mashes them together, making the one that provides reliable and low cost energy both expensive and unstable.  
And then along comes a genuine cold snap which exposes our new reliance on nature, and sub-prime energy technologies. Climate change campaigners who are inclined to view any weather event as a policy message dictated personally by an Earth deity should remember this trick works both ways.
During our recent dunkelflaute – a period of high pressure, freezing temperatures and no wind – our onshore wind blades stood still for three weeks, consuming power, but not generating any. What wind power we got, and it wasn’t very much, all came from offshore facilities.
The Germans have bulldozed wind farms to get to the good stuff beneath: coal use in Germany is up 13pc in 2022. But over there, the industrialists and manufacturers have more influence, while our Oxford PPE-dominated policy classes in Whitehall are united in their groupthink – and immune from the consequences of their decisions.

See also The Downside of EVs, Briefing Note 21.11

The additional electricity required
A study of the likely cost of supporting 100% EVs turned up astronomical numbers for the increased demand for electricity and the amount of additional installed capacity of wind and solar power required to provide it.  Refer: How Much More Electricity Do We Need To Go To 100% Electric Vehicles 

For example, in Germany, replacing 44 million cars would call for 30% more electric power and 40% more installed capacity  at a cost of  $US 230 Billion. Replacing 60GW of coal and nuclear power would call for some 140GW  of additional wind and solar power at a cost of 650 billion.

In the Netherlands replacing 8 million cars would require 21% more electricity and 24% more installed capacity at a cost of 27 billion.

In the UK, with 26 million cars the numbers are 36%, 50% and 140 billion.

For the US, 260 million cars, 30%, 44% and $1.4 trillion.

China, 154 million cars, $750 billion.

One of the hopes is to use the cars as mass storage facilities in addition to their transport function. Assuming 100% conversion, all the cars in the UK could store 100 times the amount of power in the Dinorwig pumped reservoir but that is only enough to power the UK for about a day. So after a couple of windless and sunless days the whole fleet would have dead batteries in the absence of conventional power.

The volume of resources required.
The International Energy Agency calculated that the needs for “energy transition minerals” such as lithiumgraphitenickel and rare-earth metal would rise by 4,200%, 2,500%, 1,900% and 700%, respectively, by 2040. Refer The Role Of Critical Minerals in Clean Enery Transitions

In cautious and bureaucratic language the report noted that the world doesn’t have the capacity to meet such demand and there are no plans to fund and build the necessary mines and refineries. 


28 responses to “Downside of EVs. Not enough power”

  1. Maniac Avatar

    Another problem – electrical fires are kinda sorta hard to extinguish:

  2. 132andBush Avatar

    There’s only one conclusion we can draw from this.

    They want people to die.

    Ideology, the great killer of the last century, is driving this. The MSM are fellow travelers so no real light is shone on the greatest fraud in history.

  3. flyingduk Avatar

    Its a feature, not a bug, as Neil Oliver explained……

  4. Mantaray Avatar

    132andBush. Obviously the elites want us dead. And they also want us not to “know” it since they fear the same fate as Ceaucescu, Ghadaffi, Mussolini. Louis 16th etc etc etc if the masses realise what the go is.

    Think the recent killing in North Lakes. Brisbane. The Qld Govt put the killers two doors up from the victims, and did not bother keeping them confined nor controlled. THEN, when they killed as expected / intended, and tried to kill other locals, senior coppers went on TV to tell us the killers were “from Holland Park and Zilmere”: suburbs 50 kilometres away from the murder-scene. Not a word how they got to North lakes to kill the locals: how they were financed to kill locals. NO, not a word!

    OK, so the same with Covid19 death shots and power-blackouts etc. The same with eventual mass killings due to lack of reliable electricity. NO elite: not one of them…..will suffer. NOT one will be denied their private jets, nor heating / cooling. It’s all just “unexpected” harm for the plebs,I tell’s ya!

    BTW: Rafe: Much closer to home is Snowy 2.0. It’s predicated on there being “excess eletricity in off-peak times” from Wind and Solar, to pump water uphill from Talbingo / Blowering / Junama (all the same reservoir) to Tantangara Dam to be stored for use at Peak Times. This power will be very cheap or free, and make Snowy 2.0 financially viable….
    Except that with EVs increasing in number, there can be NO excess electricity from W and S. It’s all a scam…and NOT a miscalculation when the masses are frozen in their homes and Snowy 2’s a dud, FFS!

  5. Roger Avatar

    There’s only one conclusion we can draw from this.

    They want people to die.

    Small problem…there’s more of us than them.

    Many, many more.

  6. 132andBush Avatar

    Yes but look who controls the dissemination of information.

    Everything the “many many more” hear/read is filtered at the very least and most times completely bent.

  7. RobK Avatar

    System complexity is a real issue. The link
    Has this quote on page 13:

    In an analysis of over 110,000 work orders processed over the past 3 years, we found that the percentage of our techs’ time spent troubleshooting system components other than inverters and meters has increased by nearly 50%. At its most basic level, it is unsurprising that adding components and complexity to a system will lead to increased initial cost and maintenance expenses since every new device brings an increased risk of failure, and each “smart” device adds a microprocessor and communications equipment into the system architecture. This means that not only do you have more potential points of electrical failure, you also have a chance of processor failure or communications outage.
    While some of these additional components have been forced on the industry by changes to the National Electrical Code as arc fault protection and rapid shutdown capabilities have been mandated to reduce risk to people and property, other components – such as battery storage – have been added to increase resiliency or provide additional revenue streams for the system owner. These are excellent reasons to add additional components, and the new equipment can provide other benefits, including reduced risk of catastrophic failure and increased monitoring granularity. However, when designing new systems, it is important to weigh the advantages of these new components against the tradeoff of not just additional upfront costs in equipment, installation, and commissioning, but also increased maintenance costs over the life of the system.

    The report discusses many nuanced issues with PV. Many of these issues translate to other energy related transitions.

  8. Mantaray Avatar

    Roger (9.18am) Get back to us in 2-3 years when the full extent of “surprise increase in excess deaths” after being gene-jabbed is known.

    Some suspect there won’t be anywhere near so many more of us as there is now!

  9. RobK Avatar

    The quote is from the 2020 risk assessment. They do one every year.

  10. Zipster Avatar

    In January, the then secretary of state for trade in Britain, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, told Parliament that “we are going to be requiring up to four times as much electricity” to meet demand for electrified heating and transport

    the solution is 75% demand destruction

  11. billie Avatar

    I suspect they all believe in salvation, that is, something will come along and save them from all the problems that people (like us) bring up.

    That there will be a new battery or some wonder thing that will solve all the problems, if they just believe hard enough and get everyone to go along with it.

    The problem for them really, and they all see it clearly, is the tiny mob who don’t believe, and they will get the blame .. for not believing and therefore ruining the world.

  12. bollux Avatar

    What a nonsense article. Rafe obviously doesn’t know that you can charge EV’s overnight from solar. Just ask Albo if you don’t believe me. And he’s the best they’ve got!

  13. Damon Avatar

    The problem is, the people in power only believe ‘the science’. They never (or rarely) consult engineers, who uniformly tell them their ideas simply will not work.

  14. rosie Avatar

    They think the little people can be forced onto public transport. Any projections re car usage must be on the basis of very few.

  15. Bazinga Avatar

    Geologically speaking there is a cost per unit metal, and not all mines are equal (in grade, tonnage, any other mining factor). The necessity for more metals forces more exploration (good for the 5 or so years to get from exploration to mining) but to provide the metals required will likely involve mining lesser quality finds at, you guessed it, greater unit cost. It isn’t a linear scale either. This will be necessarily passed on to the consumer …etc. etc. etc.

  16. Chris M Avatar
    Chris M

    Well they aren’t planning on many people actually owning a car.

  17. Bazinga Avatar

    They aren’t planning on many people.

  18. calli Avatar

    I have tried to explain all this many times to, what I believe to be, smart and numerate people.

    When it all boils down, it’s a numbers game – both in supply and cost.

    Yet the shutters go down and I hit an intellectual blank. My only conclusion – the whole thing has become a religion, with its unassailable dogmas and observances. No other explanation makes sense.

  19. thefrollickingmole Avatar


    I suspect they all believe in salvation, that is, something will come along and save them from all the problems that people (like us) bring up.

    That there will be a new battery or some wonder thing that will solve all the problems, if they just believe hard enough and get everyone to go along with it.

    They are people who think words make reality.
    They have legislated for “x” to happen and the country had better not fail them by not making it so.
    Lawyers believe law makes reality.
    Hence the aged care minister insisting that nurse shortages caused by the legislating of care hours/time with a nurse each day were just a problem for the operators as “we have legislated and now its the law”.

  20. Eyrie Avatar

    Lawyers believe law makes reality.


    Also see Malcolm Turnbull on the laws of mathematics.

  21. Megan Avatar

    Lawyers believe law makes reality.


    Also see Malcolm Turnbull on the laws of mathematics

    And Hayek’s problem of knowledge. Deeply dispersed and well outside the walls of the legislature and the increasing concentration of central planners and their ilk, making implementation inefficient at best. Or, as everyone on EV/climate nonsense train is going to find out over the next months and years, utterly impossible.
    They really are THAT dumb.

  22. Megan Avatar

    And calli, that is also why you cannot persuade or convince others to see reality.

    Longer times spent in modern ‘education’ systems has merely given the masses pretty certificates to hang on the wall but left them unable to meaningfully convert information into an increased understanding of complexity, uncertainty and the nature of knowledge. So, here we are.
    My father and grandfather, both with only primary school educations, were better able to make informed judgements than the majority of the ‘well educated’ of today. Mind you, I think much of that came courtesy of active participation in two world wars.

  23. Boambee John Avatar
    Boambee John


    Lawyers believe law makes reality.

    Yet the continuing prevalence of murder, rape and theft, after millennia of “laws” against all three does not see to discomfort them?

  24. JC Avatar

    B john

    Old societies were extremely violent. There could be an argument made that “laws” helped curtail lawlessness. It could be a number of things too, such as the population aging over time, but laws and the relative success of crime solving by police authorities would likely have helped.

  25. Boambee John Avatar
    Boambee John


    Don’t disagree, I was pointing out the stupidity of the “we’ve passed a law, so the problem is solved” attitude.

  26. Morsie Avatar

    And if that law doesn’t work we will pass another one.Thst will fix it.Hence
    Palacechook tweaking youth crime laws

  27. Speedbox Avatar

    Rafe, I think we (Cats) all see the problem……but assorted global governments are proceeding headlong into the abyss. The cost is almost beyond comprehension even if it can be achieved – which is extremely doubtful – and in any case, not in the timeframes laid out.

    If nothing else, the mined resources are just staggering and again, seem impossible to source in the timeframe. And then there is the issue of recycling tens of millions of batteries every year……

    You and other Cats would be well aware of my posts about the ‘inevitability’ (not desirability or practicality) of alternate powered passenger vehicles. Almost every government in the world has signed up to the various agreements on the reduction of CO2 and the elimination of ICE passenger vehicles is a fundamental element of those agreements. Net zero by 2050 cannot be achieved with approximately 1.4 billion cars of global roads.

    So, what’s the solution? Will governments will back away from their commitments? (seems unlikely). Nuclear?

    Australia is almost inconsequential in the global sense but our government, like many others, are utterly captured by the Left and the Greens. For them at least, the push to net zero by 2050 is inflexible regardless of cost. It’s all about da planet. Yet I don’t see that individuals will readily give up their cars (however they may be powered) and from a practical perspective, it isn’t generally viable due to the design of our cities and lack of public transport options. With the exception of Singapore (and maybe Hong Kong), city populations and workers will face huge transportation difficulties meaning a complete re-imagining of city planning. That process and rebuilding will take 100+ years not the next 28 years.

  28. Damon Avatar

    As I have said elsewhere, the advocates of net zero never consult engineers, who, whether or not they believe in ‘The Science’, are paid to make things work. The unanimous conclusion is that they won’t. Basically, you can flap your arms all you like, but you still won’t fly, and if you fall off a cliff, you’ll die.

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  1. Ryan flies to Canberra in the most expensive business class seats every week. And she decided to run for parliament…