Electric cars need gas (naturally)

Blog Post
Under pressure from governments around the world, automobile manufacturers are envisioning and planning for a future dominated by electric powered vehicles.  In 2017, electric car sales increased by 30%, to 200,000 vehicles. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that 54% of new car sales will be electric by 2040. 

Electric cars are viewed by the public as cleaner than gas powered cars. And those who single out hydrocarbons as a main player in global warming are applauding the movement away from gas powered engines. Yet, the electricity has to come from somewhere. In today’s world that means coal, nuclear, natural gas or renewables. Coal is dirtier than natural gas, and more expensive. Nuclear plants are shutting down and, while renewables are making significant strides, there is no current ability to store the electricity produced by renewables so as to supply a reliable base load of electricity necessary for an electric utility company. That leaves natural gas. Natural gas is a hydrocarbon, but one substantially cleaner than coal.  

There is a certain irony in all of this; many advocates of electric vehicles are also strong opponents of “fracking.” But without cheap, abundant natural gas produced in the Appalachian Basin, in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, the switch to electric vehicles would be costlier and less friendly to the environment. And it would not be occurring so quickly. Ohio’s natural gas production, alone, reached 5.5 billion cubic feet per day in October of 2017, doubling the output in May of 2015, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And there are nine gas fired plants either under construction or in development in the state. The booming production of shale gas is making the switch over to electric vehicles less expensive and more environmentally friendly, which is in the common interest of environmentalists, electric car manufacturers and natural gas producers.

Related Services

Jump to Page

McDonald Hopkins uses cookies on our website to enhance user experience and analyze website traffic. Third parties may also use cookies in connection with our website for social media, advertising and analytics and other purposes. By continuing to browse our website, you agree to our use of cookies as detailed in our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.