Graph of the Day: EV uptake to boost global electricity demand by four Australias

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IEA’s conservative electric vehicle growth projections expect uptake to boost global power demand by 928TWh a year in 2030 – that’s four times Australia’s annual consumption.

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Source: IEA Global EV Outlook 2018 (Note: PLD = passenger light duty vehicles; LCV = light commercial vehicles; HDV = heavy duty vehicles. NPC = New Policies Scenario

There are plenty of reasons why the Turnbull government should be working harder and faster on developing policies to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia.

But if they needed another one, the International Energy Agency’s 2018 Global EV Outlook, published on Wednesday, has obliged:

  • Because EV uptake will increase global electricity demand by more than four times the annual consumption of Australia’s grid.

At least, that’s according to the IEA’s [email protected] scenario, its most ambitious projection which sees the number of light EVs on the road globally reaching 220 million in 2030.

Under that scenario, the IEA reckons as much as 928TWh would be added to the world’s annual electricity demand.

Bearing in mind that the IEA’s “ambitious” scenario is well short of the latest forecasts published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance – 559 million EVs on the world’s roads by 2040 – that’s still a lot of new power demand.

And the fact that this EV-driven increase in power demand will be coincide roughly with the transition to renewables, which the Australian government appears to be trying to slow down, should give even more pause for thought.

It’s not entirely clear in the IEA report what all this means for Australia – which, with its notable lack of policy ambition on EVs, is lumped into the Rest of the World category in the graph above.

But according to the Australian Market Operator’s “strong” EV uptake scenario, EV annual consumption is forecast at nearly 30,000GWh – double the amount it predicted just six months earlier.

As we reported here, that’s around 15 per cent of total demand on the Australia grid, and could suggest that AEMO is expecting half the cars on Australia’s roads in 2037 to be electric.

So, yeah. No hurry.

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4 Comments
  1. Peter F 11 months ago

    As the world is installing about 180 GW of renewables per year which will produce about 320 TWh i.e. 50% more than Australia uses, by 2030 there should 18 times Australia’s electricity consumption added to the grid of which 4 might be used for electromobility

    • Ren Stimpy 11 months ago

      Don’t forget the coal plant retirements.

    • Ian 11 months ago

      It matters not from where EV get their grid electricity because, as you point out Peter, so much renewables are being installed every year. The enormity of the challenge to decarbonise transportation is this generation’s imperative. Pleasingly, Europe is taking steps to the plate.

      Tesla’s success in achieving its production goal over the next 6 months is absolutely crucial to knocking this snowball down the mountain. Musk has two rocket companies, we all know and possibly watch Spacex, but it’s the second rocket company – Tesla – that’s the important one. This is the one to fire a rocket under the collective arses of the motor manufacturing industry.

  2. neroden 11 months ago

    I suspect IEA has assumed unduly poor efficiency ratings for electric cars.

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