The age of the internal combustion engine is drawing to a close. In a bid to cut carbon emissions, several countries across the world are planning to phase out conventional gas-powered cars and replace them with zero-emission electric vehicles. Powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs, electric vehicles (“EVs”) produce zero emissions at the tailpipe, making them the perfect vehicle for a green economy. However, for EVs to truly achieve widespread adoption, power grids around the world will need a massive upgrade.
According to an estimate by the New York Times, America may need to generate up to 25% more electricity to support a mass shift to electric vehicles. Demand for electricity will vary by state, with New Hampshire needing 53% more capacity and Nevada only requiring 25%. As the national grid is overwhelmed by the demand and vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, other key technologies will need to be prepared, such as solar, wind and short-term battery storage, to prepare for widespread EV adoption.
Geothermal energy could provide up to 10% of America’s electricity needs, yet it generates a measly 0.4% of the country’s power, research from the U.S. Department of Energy shows. According to the Renewable Energy Agency, the earth’s surface contains an estimated 50,000 times more energy than gas and oil, making geothermal energy a much more sustainable source of power for EVs. Thanks to high up-front and exploration costs, geothermal energy has failed to take hold in the country.
Hydroelectricity is a much cleaner source of energy than oil. And because the U.S. has more than 85,00 existing dams, it could provide plenty of electricity to power the nation’s electrified roads. Just 3% of the dams in the country have been retrofitted to produce electricity, however. Currently, the Malta Dam in Ohio as well as five other dams are being retrofitted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Rye Development with 23 MW of capacity, but many more will be needed as EVs become more widespread.
Nuclear energy usually gets a bad rap, but it is a surprisingly clean source of power. Although electric vehicles have zero emissions, a lot of their benefits are canceled out because the electricity used to power them is generated using fossil fuels. Nuclear, on the other hand, is completely zero carbon, making it a perfect source of electricity for nations that are looking to adopt green energy and cut carbon emissions.
Coupled with stationary power-storage solutions, solar, and wind energy, these three technologies will help reduce and ultimately eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels and beef up power grids in preparation for mass EV adoption.
With many companies from industries that aren’t traditionally connected to the automotive sector joining the EV space, a lot of innovations are set to be unveiled. For instance, Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) revealed back in August last year that it was merging with Mullen Technologies Inc., a California-based maker of electric vehicles.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE
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