It also reveals some other interesting facts, some of which are not so positive.
The US Department of Energy's Argonne Laboratory has released a study on light-duty plug-in electric vehicles in America, ranging from 2010 to 2021. The most exciting fact we came across is that the nation's EV fleet, which represents less than 0.05% of all cars registered in the USA, saved 1.8 billion liters of gas last year.
That figure is simply too large to wrap one's head around, so it needs some context. That's roughly a 1.2-day supply of fuel for the 276 million vehicles currently registered locally. So, the USA went an entire day without fuel but stretched over an entire year.
The study is nearly 60 pages long, so we had to cherry-pick some interesting facts, but in case you're interested, you can read the whole thing by following this link.
The average energy consumption of an EV in the USA in 2021 was 3,010 kWh. That's roughly 48 full charges of the best-selling EV in the USA, the Tesla Model Y. Using an average of electricity costs and a home charging system, the costs come to around $450. Using the average gas price at the time of writing, that's enough for 130 gallons.
The average mileage traveled by EVs has increased from just under two billion miles in 2014 to just under 20 billion miles in 2021. But here's the stat that everyone worries about, considering the potential pressure on the grid. In 2014, EVs consumed less than one TWh (one terawatt is equal to 1,000 gigawatts), and in 2021 that figure jumped to just over six TWh.
Let's put that in context as well. New York City goes through 11,000 megawatts per day. It would take the city roughly six months to consume as much energy as the USA's EVs did in a year.
Thankfully, the report does not shy away from the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the laboratory did not take the entire lifetime of EVs into account and instead focused on the electricity supply. As you might know, the electricity from the plug in your house doesn't always come from an environmentally-friendly source. Still, it is interesting to note that a substantial number of EVs are registered in states with a higher percentage of renewable electricity sources.
Over the last 10 years, the average emissions for an EV have dropped from 187 grams of CO2 per mile to 110 grams of CO2 per mile. That sounds impressive until you look at some plug-in hybrid figures. A Prius Prime emits 78 grams of CO2 per mile.
Range has improved drastically, however. In 2010, the average range of a BEV was a laughable 70 miles. Now the average range is roughly 250 miles, which means Chevrolet is right on the money with the all-new Equinox EV. No wonder Tesla is quickly losing its crown.