Michael Lewis::

To grasp the magnitude of the problem facing electric vehicles, we should consider what it would take to power a world full of them. Let’s start with your local corner store fueling station.

The gas station that you visit routinely has underground fuel tanks with enormous gasoline fuel capacity, typically 10,000 to 20,000 gallons. This equates to an electrical energy capacity of 500 megawatt-hours. By comparison, Tesla’s Mira Loma 80 megawatt-hour battery energy station in California, the largest such installation in the United States, sits on 1.5 acres. To match the energy storage capacity of gasoline fueling stations with batteries would require a 10-acre battery farm. In other words, gasoline allows us to put a lot of energy in a small space.

The hope for electric vehicles is that we don’t have to store all the electricity at your local fueling station. We can simply pull the required power from the grid. But can we? Yes and no.