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Google: 90% of Cars Could be EVs and Hybrids By 2030

Electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles could garner a collective 90 percent market share by 2030, and grid-scale electricity storage could actually increase emissions in the short term, according to an analysis by Google.org.

Google’s philanthropic arm prepared the study using McKinsey & Company’s US Low Carbon Economics Tool, an analytic set of interlinked models that estimates potential economic implications of various policies. Google.org chose the policy scenarios and input assumptions to plug into the tool.

It found that a rapid fall in battery costs and increases in energy density could allow the total cost of ownership of electric vehicles to drop below that of internal combustion vehicles by 2030. These EVs could have a 300-mile range, Google.org said. If electrics, hybrid electrics and plug-in electrics achieve 90 percent market share for light duty vehicles, this would reduce oil consumption by 1.1 billion barrels per year by 2030, or more than Canada’s entire 2009 oil production, the report said.

Google.org said that in the long term, cheap grid-scale electricity could improve power quality and reliability, lower power prices and, when combined with breakthroughs in solar and wind power, could increase renewables deployment by up to 35 percent by 2050. But in the short term, cheaper storage would allow coal units to run at peak efficiency 24 hours per day, storing energy at night and dispatching it during the day. This would reduce the demand for load-following natural gas capacity and lead to a 0.3 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions, Google.org said.

Google.org said that all breakthrough innovations in clean energy could add $155 billion per year in GDP by 2030, creating 1.1 million net jobs, while reducing household energy costs by $942 per year.

But the longer that technology breakthroughs are delayed, the more benefits are likely to diminish, Google.org said. In its model, a mere five year delay could cost the economy an aggregate $2.3-3.2 trillion in unrealized GDP gains, 1.2-1.4 million net jobs, and 8-28 gigatons in avoided greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Google.org noted that its modeling set very optimistic rates of clean tech innovation. But even with aggressive breakthroughs, the model achieved only a 49 percent reduction in greenhouse gases versus 2005 emissions by 2050, which is well short of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reduction target of 80 percent by 2050. Reaching 80 percent will likely require much more aggressive policy than exists today, the report said.

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5 thoughts on “Google: 90% of Cars Could be EVs and Hybrids By 2030

  1. Perhaps Google should do a search on “bicycle”. An interesting invention that is often discarded by societies as they push forward to join the mainstream world only to discover fifty years later that mass urban and suburban developments only aggravate the problem. Look to the Netherlands for just how well the bicycle can be re-integrated into society.

    Start building more bike lanes and allow bicycle access to freeways/major highways and the energy problem will go away.

  2. “…all breakthrough innovations in clean energy could add $155 billion per year in GDP by 2030, creating 1.1 million net jobs, while reducing household energy costs by $942 per year.”

    If solar panels will require power companies to hire more people, and charge less for their product, will they paint your house and rotate your tires, too?

  3. I don’t want to hear any more of this nonsense about bicycles. I have arthritis (due to a childhood disease) and I can’t ride a bike. And what of the people out there who are inherently at risk for heart disease? Will you admit culpability if they die from a heart attack trying to bike uphill? (and no cracks about obesity — not everyone who has heart disease is overweight). And then there is rain and snow. Have you people gone mad? This is the 21st century — we are supposed to being making PROGRESS! Not going backward. We need more energy and there is no way around that.

  4. No one but you can speak to your health situation, Andy. But to reject bicycles for society in general; simply because they don’t work for you personally, and/or they may not work for certain others with other conditions; is ludicrous.
    Yes, this is the 21st century. If I am not mistaken, it is the 21st century in the Netherlands as well. There, bicycles are a very widely accepted form of transportation. And isn’t northwestern europe kind of subject to a fair amount of inclement weather?
    Do we need more energy? Probably yes. We definitely need much more clean energy. But we also definitely need to reduce the energy intensity of our current activities (like personal transportation).

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