31.03.2022

Nuclear Can Meet the Clean Energy Demand of EVs

Over the past decade, the electric vehicle (EV) market has grown rapidly. Now with the momentum from emissions reduction targets, the EV market size is projected to grow about 25 percent. According to one estimate by Bloomberg, at least two-thirds of global car sales will be electric by 2040.

EVs are popular, in part, because they can reduce harmful emissions that impact the environment, our health and climate change. However, they are only as clean as the energy they use. If an EV is plugged into a charging station powered by a carbon-emitting energy source, it fails to truly reduce emissions. By some estimates, charging an electric vehicle at night in coal-dependent areas can generate more emissions than a gasoline-powered car. Carbon-free energy like nuclear is needed to power these stations to deliver on clean energy targets.

In 2021, the global share of EVs more than doubled. During this time some EVs have become household names, such as the Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Prius, but the EV landscape is quickly changing. Some of the models set to release in 2022 are highly anticipated, and bring new, exciting options to consumers. The most notable is the Ford F-150 Lighting, an EV version of the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for nearly four decades. Ford claims that when fully charged, the pickup truck can provide a home with power for up to three days.

EV’s are a part of a growing trend known as the electrification of everything. Utilities face the challenge of increasing electricity generation while meeting decarbonization goals. EVs contribute to this increased demand for electricity, as many are left to charge overnight.

U.S. electric vehicle-related energy demand is expected to increase to 107 terawatt hours by 2035, which is the equivalent of the amount of energy used to power about 10 million homes in the United States.

Consumers increasingly want to drive EVs, but many are hesitant if the electricity to charge them comes from fossil fuels.

Nuclear energy is the most viable option for a steady stream of reliable, affordable, carbon-free electricity that can power EV charging stations 24/7/365. Nuclear reactors are responsible for over half of all carbon-free energy produced in the U.S., and nuclear energy pairs well with renewables, like wind and solar, to create a cleaner grid.

 

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