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3 Things We Will See Happen, If People Show Demand For Electric Cars

EPA estimate shows the cost of electric cars exceeds the social cost of carbon. If we want to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050 governments need to almost completely remove carbon from transportation, this means from electric cars like Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt, BMW i3 or Prius Plug In. How do we reconcile this?


In particular, how do we reconcile this with the EPA’s estimates of the social cost of carbon that are in the range of $40/ton? In their paper on the lifecycle carbon impacts of EVs and conventional cars, Archsmith, Kendell, and Rapson, using $38/ton as a cost of carbon, estimate the lifetime damages of the gasoline powered, but pretty efficient, Nissan Versa to be $3200. In other words, replacing a fuel efficient passenger car with a vehicle with NO lifecycle emissions would produce benefits of $3200. That puts $10,000 in EV tax credits in perspective,

reads research published by University of California Berkeley.

Electric cars like Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S, Chevy Volt or Toyota Prius Plug In are not cheap. In fact, they are not cheaper than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. However, developing them is like more of a social decision to give market support to find cars and means of transportation that use more sustainable sources of energy.

Thus, what will happen if people show demand for electric cars? Here are three things, and these things may not happen if we don't show interest, demand or support for electric cars.

We will See:

  • Electric Car makers who stay in business.
  • Serious Battery Research and Advancement
  • Meaningful proliferation in charging stations

My hope is that once we get a certain level at the development of electric cars, we will get better at it, more efficient, more environmentally friendly and with cheaper prices. This will make electric cars more affordable. Or, could it be that the future of consumer cars is marriage between Electric and ICE vehicles?