It has become a hot topic where the county be in meeting with the energy requirement for electric cars, as the globe and the country has ambitious goals. We do have just 4,500 EV s at a slow growing phase, due to the fear factor on several areas.
Over time EV and motoring fraternity learned better, and they now know hoe to make the best use of batteries. Atop the technology improvements we are now getting EV s that can travel to any destination in the country without a recharge.
Resale value is a major factor in population growth and the thinking beyond the early Leaf and corrections in erroneous cost of ownership will contribute this largely. You may read on this at the end of the write-up Link*1.
However the growth and adaptation for EV is eminent. Firstly we got no choice although we are rather followers in general, not the innovators (pardon me, there are exceptions). And there are many other reasons atop the global growth.
Furthermore EVs will fit to our sort of context than any other country. We have spoken of why, in several posts.
The country has a passenger car population of 850,000 as of 2018 (http://www.transport.gov.lk). And we keep adding minimum of 40,000 units a year, although some good years exceeded 100,000 cars. Now, in this phase if we end sales of gasoline or diesel cars (we do not take the other vehicles, leaving Vans, Pickups and all commercial vehicles aside) by 2040 we need to have stages in growth.
It is estimated by 2040 we will be having a total EV UIO (Units In Operation) of 526,000 as above. This is a very conservative assumption, although theirs room for bigger growth in consideration with the growth in demand.
Energy demand by 2040
The energy requirement for above UIO based on the usage. According to a research by Ms. D.A.S. Jayasekara of Traffic and Transport, University of Moratuwa in 2012 passenger cars were driven 4 Bn kilometers in year 2012. That is with a population of almost 500,000 units as per the records of RMV.
This is 8,000 Kms per year and averages to 22 Kilometers a day. With the growth of UIO towards 2040, we can forecast a travel need of 11.57 Bn Kms of EV s by 2040. Still, not to forget the total transformation of transportation towards electricity from public transportation major on Trains and commercial transportation.
The daily energy need than? We estimate the average energy consumption of an EV will be 7 Km/kWh. This is based on average city conditions, as experience by ourselves in Colombo in a Nissan Leaf 2019 ZE1. The WLTP data differs but we would like to apply the local context.
In this context a n EV needs 3.14 units a day, lets say 4 units of energy. This mandates a daily energy requirement of 1,653 MWh a day to energize the UIO. Not a challenging amount, if our energy plans go well.
Current generation mix
Way forward with renewable energy
The future is bleak when it comes to this point. We just need less than 1.7 mWh a day on personal transportation by 2040 but the plans of CEB dosent look environment friendly. Follow link #2 at the end.
Role of Rooftop Solar & Zero emissions
If half of these EV owners generate their own electricity with a simple 5kW rooftop system each of then will generate an average of 20 kWh a day. leave a third of this for domestic consumption, still the remainder will facilitate the total passenger car charging energy need of the country.
Solar Industry Association proposed a solar generation of 1600 MW within 2019 (in fact from 2016), of which CEB / Government hasn’t done any in implementation. (Read more on this under link #3) Ironically this is a similar figure to the energy need of EV UIO by 2040.
Not to forget achieving this EV UIO and fulling with renewable will be a massive saving of 775 million liters of gasoline on above usage terms. Just imaging the saving in foreign currency on passenger cars alone.
Even 100% electric vehicles are not a zero-carbon solution. They may not produce the usual exhaust pipe emissions, but even if all of our electricity was from renewable sources, there would still be an environmental cost.
Sourcing the minerals used for batteries, dismantling batteries which have deteriorated, and building and delivering vehicles to customers worldwide all involve substantial CO2 emissions. It is impossible to break all of the links. But do not forget EV s present the best solution to mitigate the environmental pollution. And most above will be common costs on ICE as well.
Electric vehicles are a crucial part of the worlds attempts to drastically reduce transport’s emissions. Yet they are no panacea.
Lets take the case regardless the source of energy, just the efficiency.
A large shift away from motorized vehicles is the only way to fundamentally reduce transport’s contribution to climate change, however hard and politically unpalatable that may be.
Link*1: Read on resale value: https://mobility.lk/2019/08/22/running-cost-resale-value/
Link *2 : Following are the works of Mr. Vidhura Ralapanawe on the concern https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10220676464284813&set=pcb.10220676471284988&type=3&theater