How Much Do Electric Vehicles Actually Displace Gasoline? 500 Million Gallons Displaced in 2020 in USA

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The growth of electric vehicles is fun and exciting to those of us who are interested in the new tech, but the truly important target is to cut gasoline use in order to stop catastrophic climate change (not to mention deadly air pollution). So, more than any stat about EV sales, what’s important is seeing less gasoline burned. Argonne National Laboratory has done analyses trying to determine what the answer to that is year after year. The conclusion of the lab’s most recent report, “Assessment of Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicles in the United States, 2010–2020,” is that 500 million gallons of gasoline went unburned in 2020 in the USA due to fully electric cars and plugin hybrids.

Source: Argonne National Laboratory, “Assessment of Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicles in the United States, ” 2010 – 2020, June 2021.

“All-electric vehicles (EV) displaced a greater portion than plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in 2020, accounting for about three-quarters of the total,” the US Department of Energy notes. “Cumulatively, from 2011 to 2020, light-duty plug-in electric vehicles have displaced 1.9 billion gallons of gasoline in the U.S.”

So, electric vehicles are getting the job done, gradually. Though, I don’t want to see the chart showing how much gasoline was burned. It would surely make these bars in the chart above look like little stubs.


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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