Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- May 6, 2013 - The number of electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2035 is projected to range from a conservatively estimated 5 million to as high as 30 million, or around 12 percent of light duty vehicles (LDVs), depending on advances in battery technology, according to a new white paper from the IEE.

In 2010, the transportation sector comprised 29 percent of total national energy consumption in the U.S., making it the second largest consumer of energy behind the industrial sector, the white paper notes. Within transportation, the 225 million LDVs currently in the U.S. consume almost 60 percent of energy in the transportation sector. With fossil fuels making up about 99 percent of the fuel in transportation, 31 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions can be tied to the burning of fossil fuels in the transportation sector.

Therefore, the electrification of transportation makes sense from both an economic and environmental perspective.

The white paper considers three representative scenarios for the projection of growth in electric LDVs, i.e. cars and light trucks, from 2010 to 2035.

Under the low electric transportation scenario in 2035 electric LDVs would comprise 2 percent of the registered vehicle stock (i.e. 5.3 million LDVs). Electricity consumption increases by 33 TWh, while the reduction in vehicle emissions resulting from the switch to electric LDVs is from 9 to 22 Mt CO2e.

Under the medium electric transportation scenario, based on advances in battery technology, in 2035 electric LDVs would comprise 10 percent of the registered vehicle stock (24.8 million LDVs). Electricity consumption increases by 112 TWh, and the reduction in vehicle emissions is from 41 to 94 Mt CO2e.

Under the high electric transportation scenario, based on the advances in battery technology and high oil prices ($200/barrel in 2035), in 2035 electric LDVs would comprise 12 percent of the registered vehicle stock (30.4 million LDVs). Electricity consumption increases by 147 TWh, and the reduction in vehicle emissions is from 51 to 116 Mt CO2e.

The white paper states that the electrification of transportation is beginning to gain traction in a variety of applications. However, the ultimate levels of electric vehicle adoption will depend on various policy, technology, and economic drivers as well as consumer demand. These include advances in battery technology, oil prices, and government mandates on fuel economy.

The white paper also highlights the potentially significant additions to electricity consumption resulting from the increasing growth of electric LDVs, stating this demonstrates again the important link with a cleaner future power generation mix.