Bloomberg: EVs Are First Step to a Cleaner Grid

An article in Bloomberg is putting forth the argument that the rapid advancement of the EV market could lead the drive to a cleaner energy grid.

The piece, written by Eric Roston, suggests that the impending arrival of the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt, as well as the upcoming planned EVs from Ford, Hyundai, and Nissan, will help the energy industry make changes faster to operate in a more “clean” manner.

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According to Bloomberg, about 22 percent of U.S. pollution (17 percent globally) comes from vehicles. So with an eventual reduction in that percentage to zero or near-zero, the thinking goes, the rapid change in EV technology can spur an industry that has typically changed slowly.

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One big current drawback with EVs is that even if they produce zero emissions, the electricity itself still comes from a grid that is dependent on fossil fuels. One expert told Bloomberg that the growth of EVs could change that, however.

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, said that there’s a three-pronged strategy that could lead to a cleaner grid.

The first pillar of that strategy is to wring out as much efficiency from the current fossil-fuel dependent grid as possible. Next, zero-carbon power production needs to be increased as soon as possible, and finally, gas-heated buildings and gas-powered vehicles need to become attached to the power grid.

“Clean electricity, and electrify everything you can,” Sachs said.