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Is California ready for full vehicle electrification?

And what does it mean for the rest of the nation?

Posted December 22, 2023

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently examined California’s full vehicle electrification readiness status and has just released an analysis on its findings. The main goal of these findings was to identify and understand how the challenges in CA indicate challenges the entire nation may face once the deployment of electric vehicles goes nationwide.

Parameters of the 2023 analysis

For this state-based analysis, ATRI focused on the key elements of:

  • Grid sufficiency for powering electric vehicles,
  • Expected increased supply chain costs,
  • The cost of electricity, and
  • Potential challenges in finding materials for batteries.

Previous ATRI analysis (2022)

A previous ATRI analysis from 2022 found that full electrification of a nationwide vehicle fleet would need to use significant percentages of U.S.’s electricity generation:

  • Long-haul trucking: more than 10 percent
  • All-electric U.S. fleet: more than 40 percent

Some states would even need to generate around 60 percent more electricity than they already produce.

So, is California ready?

Ultimately, the 2023 analysis shows that CA would need to generate 57.2 percent more electricity than it already produces.

At an average of 22.33 cents per kWh, CA is already the one of the highest cost states when it comes to electricity — more than double the national average of 12.36 cents per kWh. Some CA cities cost as much as 47.5 cents per kWh.

Other key CA findings include:

  • A growing concern for battery resources, which widens the gap between the demand and the availability of electricity; and
  • The need for more trucks on the road (an additional 343 per 1000) due to the increased battery weight that reduces cargo-carrying capacities.

To learn more, check out the full report “Is California Ready for an Electric Vehicle Future?”

This article was written by Lucero Truszkowski of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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