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Energy Supply for EV Charging

What is the Energy Supply for EV Charging?
on-grid electricity towers with a background of a sunset.
© Unsplash

As the world continues to face the challenges of climate change, it is increasingly important that we transition to more sustainable energy sources. Renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, is a greener and cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

This article will:

  • describe the renewable energy supply requirements for EV charging.
  • outline the long-term implications of using renewable energy sources.   Smart charging systems for EVs can facilitate the use of renewable energy sources, enabling even cleaner and more sustainable charging.

What are the mineral requirements for clean energy technologies?

  • The ‘Stated Policies Scenario’ (STEPS) shows the trajectory implied by today’s policy settings.
  • The ‘Announced Pledges Scenario’ (APS) assumes that all announced government targets are met on time and in full, including their long-term net zero and energy access targets.
  • The ‘Net Zero Emissions by 2050’ (NZE) scenario maps out a pathway to achieving a 1.5 °C stabilization of global average temperature rise, alongside universal access to modern energy by 2030.

The next graphic shows the mineral requirements for clean energy technologies for each one of the different scenarios. It’s expected that the mineral demand will quadruple by 2030 in the NZE scenario, with exceptionally high growth for EV materials.

Two histograms showing information on mineral requirements by technology and by mineral, comparing the different types of energy supply in million tonnes.Click to expand

Mineral Requirements by Scenario. PEM Motion (2023)

Targets haven been set every five years to reduce emissions; as can be seen from the graph, there were many emissions in the year 2021 from areas such as industry, transport, electricity, etc. The aim is to reduce emissions over the years to reach the peak (the year 2050) where emissions are minimized.

A graph in form of an iceberg flipped upside down, to showcase the milestones over the years to achieve net-zero emissions, starting from 2021 to 2050, representing the peak of the iceberg.Click to expand

Milestones to Net-Zero-Emission by 2050. PEM Motion (2023)

Renewable energy in E-Mobility reduces emissions, promotes energy security, saves money, and drives innovation for a sustainable future.

Why use renewable energy instead of coal power?

Renewable energy:

  • these resources are capable of regeneration
  • they are renewed as they are used, so they are always available
  • the regeneration of these sources involves some ecological processes on a time scale
  • renewable sources become non-renewable if they are used more than the environment can replenish them.

An eolic park, with a landscape of a sunset. Eolic park. Unsplash (2015)

Coal Power:

  • coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock containing high levels of carbon and hydrocarbons
  • coal is classified as a non-renewable energy source because it takes millions of years to form
  • coal contains the energy stored in plants that lived in swampy forests hundreds of millions of years ago
  • large amounts of wastewater and other waste residues from coal mining, as well as waste emissions and dust from coal-fired power generation, can eventually lead to the accumulation of heavy metals in the soil
  • easy accumulation and concealment, high toxicity and persistence, and non-degradability are the characteristics of heavy metal pollutants.

A fabric with tubes spreading gas from using coal power as a power supply. Fabric using coal power. Unsplash (2019)

Linking sectors allows us to optimise our energy system, rather than decarbonizing and improving efficiency in each sector separately.

The electrification of transport is an excellent example of the potential for integration. We now know that electric vehicles link the transport and electricity sectors, as well as buildings, where charging points are often located.

What does the ideal energy system look like?

This graph shows the comparison between today’s energy system, with its linear and unidirectional wasteful energy flows, and the future integrated energy system, where energy flows between users and producers, improving the efficient use of resources and money.

A diagram showing a comparison between the energy system today with different icons of the types of energy supply and next to it an image of how the future integrated energy system could look like with clean energy supply and icons.Click to expand

Comparison between energy system today and future integrated system. PEM Motion (2023)

Conclusion:

Widespread adoption of EVs can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving air quality. However, for EVs to fully realize their potential as a clean transport option, a reliable and convenient smart charging infrastructure and renewable energy sources, must be in place.

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Exploring the World of Electric Mobility: Key Concepts and Strategies

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