Here’s some more fun with numbers from one of our readers that we thought was worth sharing. The topic is: “if we all drove EVs and got 100% of our EV electricity needs from wind.”
First, some key assumptions:
- Average miles driven per US car in 2010 was 13,476.
- EVs use roughly 0.3 kWh of electricity per mile.
- That’s 4,043 kWh needed per year to drive 13,476 miles.
- That works out to 11 kWh per day.
The DOE estimates that, in 2007, the number of US cars on the road was 254,400,000.
If all our cars were EVs, we would need to generate 2,798,400,000 kWh per day. Rounding up, let’s make that 2,798,500 MWh per day.
The average size of a wind turbine in the US has a power capacity of 3 MW. Using the average size, a wind turbine will produce 30.1 MWh per day (3 MW x 24 hours x 43% capacity).
To power 254.4 million EVs, we would need 92,973 3MW turbines.
At 0.25 acres per turbine, the total land required would be 23,243 acres.
For some perspective, the island of Manhattan contains 15,168 acres; Disney World covers 30,500 acres; and Washington, DC covers 43,712 acres.
Add in some losses for transmission and battery charging and the point is that we could get all the electricity needed to charge every car and light truck in the US with two Manhattans, one Disney World, or less than one Washington, DC.
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.