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Tesla Model X charging (Source: Tesla)

Clean Transport

EVs Provide Energy Security, Aid Energy Transitions During Conflicts

Electric vehicles can improve energy security for the transportation sector due to their ability to utilize any energy source. This means that they can endure embargoes, shortages, or benefit from new, efficient powerplant upgrades.

Society has had to transition from and use backup energy sources multiple times. This is a problem that can be caused by political conflicts (for example: the 1973 oil embargo), shortages caused by natural disasters, financial troubles, environmental issues and wars.

During the 1973 oil embargo, oil-consuming equipment such as gasoline-powered vehicles were rendered inoperable if they didn’t stock up or weren’t fortunate enough to find a gas station that still had some. Considering the numerous energy sources available, issues like this can be avoided in the future if society as a whole adopted electric vehicles.

Why? Electric vehicles can be powered by any energy source because all energy sources can be converted to electricity. The ability to ‘plug in’ to another energy source if oil or any other energy source is in short supply is helpful. Another significant benefit is that the electricity grid in the United States (and many other countries) is powered by several different energy sources. It is also worth noting that people who use their own rooftop solar panels to charge their electric cars won’t have any trouble driving around during an oil embargo.

A shortage of one energy source would not compromise the entire country’s grid, only the parts relying on that energy source. This also means that not all electric car drivers would suffer from the shortages. A strategy like this would benefit national security, the economy, and the environment since electric vehicles consume whichever energy sources are powering the grid and would work with backup energy sources. You’ll only have to worry about replacing power plants, instead of replacing both peoples’ cars and power plants.

In a post-fossil fuel future where oil embargoes couldn’t immobilize the population — electric cars’ ability to run on any electricity source would still be useful. For example: electric vehicles powered by the grid could utilize either solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, or any other electricity resources available on that grid. That provides a high level of energy security for the transportation sector and the ability for society to (more easily) move onto improved energy sources as needed.

Electric vehicles would also become cheaper to drive if newer, more cost-effective solar power plants are installed to reduce the cost of energy over time. This means that both the cost of transportation and electricity could simultaneously benefit from grid/power plant upgrades and either keep travel/power costs down, or possibly lower them without convincing people to replace their old cars.

 
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writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

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