Most road vehicles currently run on gasoline or diesel fuel, which cause climate change. One possible solution is to make vehicles electric. This comes with new challenges that aren't solved yet.
Generating enough electricity
The vehicles would add an extra load on the power grid. How much electricity depends on whether the vehicles run on batteries or fuel cells. See this chart.
The world already struggles to generate enough electricity without using fossil fuels. If coal or natural gas power plants are used for charging vehicles, there is almost no net benefit to the environment.
Solar, wind, and nuclear all show potential to produce enough energy - but only if the right innovations happen.
Hydro and geothermal are viable solutions in some parts of the world.
Manufacturing enough energy storage
There are a few ways to store energy in vehicles:
- Batteries, such as lithium ion
- Hydrogen gas connected to a fuel cell
Both are currently not viable on a large scale, due to needing too many rare metals. See each page for details.
Other battery tech may be promising - especially sodium-sulfur batteries.[RESEARCH needed]