As the car industry continues to transition to electric, we often neglect how far we’ve come. A new report from the Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group shows just how much progress has been made in the past 10 years.
The report, titled “Renewables on the Rise 2021: The rapid growth of renewables, electric vehicles and other building blocks of a clean energy future,” illustrates the rapid rise in US EV uptake as well as America’s ever increasing renewable energy output. The US produces 23 times as much solar power now as it did in 2011, for example. Meanwhile wind power has tripled in the past decade and battery storage capacity has grown more than 18-fold.
Back in 2011 the best-selling EV in the US was the Nissan Leaf, of which 9,674 units were sold that year. So far this year, it's the Tesla Model Y with over 132,000 units sold. It's followed by the Tesla Model 3, of which approximately 95,000 units have been shifted as of November 1 2021. Only around 16,000 all-electric cars were in the US back in 2011, meanwhile today that figure lies at approximately 2 million.
In terms of EV sales and infrastructure, the best-performing states in 2020 were California, New York and Florida. As for renewable energy production, states that have experienced massive growth include North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma and California.
100% Renewable campaign director Emma Searson commented on the report, stating the following:
In this last decade, America has proven that we can power our homes, businesses and industry with clean energy. We’re on the cusp of a dramatic shift toward power that doesn’t pollute.
But we didn’t arrive here by magic; forward-thinking people and their legislators demanded it. As national leaders debate how best to invest in the future of our nation, they should take a cue from these states and focus on helping clean energy thrive.
Although many positives can be taken from this report, we still have a long way to go. EVs represent less than 4% of the total new car market, and even though that figure is expected to drastically rise throughout the 2020s it needs to be matched by a strong increase in renewable energy output to power the grid.