Here’s Why Electric Cars Won’t Work

Written by Jason Simpkins
Posted May 23, 2023

Canada has backed itself into a corner. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has set two hard deadlines for zero-emission vehicles.

It’s declared that every single sedan and light truck sold in the country must be zero-emission by 2035, and every vehicle heavier than that has to be emission-free by 2040. 

Furthermore, to facilitate that transition, the government is pouring billions of dollars into a new EV battery plant in Ontario. 

There’s just one problem…

Canada doesn’t produce enough electricity to support a country full of EVs.

As Adithya Legala, a Ph.D. student with the Fuel Cell and Green Energy Lab at the University of Waterloo, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

Our household power consumption is somewhere around 20 to 30 kilowatt [hours] in a day, and an electric vehicle's average battery size is between 60 to 90 kilowatt hours, so essentially tripling overnight the entire power demand.

And even that is a conservative estimate, because it presumes everyone would own a small EV rather than a large electric truck, which would complicate matters further. 

For example, GM’s electric Hummer has a 212-kWh pack. That’s over three times the size of the Chevrolet Bolt EV's battery and double the size of the battery pack in the Chevrolet Blazer EV.

Now, I don’t live in Canada, but given what I know about the climate, you’d probably want a truck with four-wheel drive up there. 

So it’s hard to imagine that the country’s entire driving population would be satisfied with a small sedan.

That means bigger batteries — and a quadrupling or quintupling of the power demand if we take Legala at his word.

Now let’s crunch some numbers to drive this point home. 

The total electrical output of all of Canada’s power stations is about 630 billion kWh. As it currently stands, the country consumes about 540 billion kWh of electricity a year. 

So if you triple, quadruple, or quintuple that consumption, Canada’s total power supply would fall 1 trillion kilowatt-hours short.

And that’s Canada, which is 10th in the world in GDP, fifth in the world in energy production, and just 37th in the world in population. 

Again, that’s a wealthy country with a relatively low population and a huge supply of energy…

And even it can’t make EVs work. 

Imagine how hard it would be for the United States, which has nearly 10x the population, a spottier power grid, and a unique obsession with large trucks and SUVs.

There has to be something else... 

And fortunately there is. 

I’m talking about hydrogen fuel cells. 

In addition to being zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cells have a key advantage over batteries. Namely, they’re better suited for heavier trucks and longer-distance driving.

That’s because hydrogen is significantly more energy-dense than batteries, which means a fuel cell-propelled powertrain weighs less — as much as two tons less.

Better still, hydrogen fuel comes from natural gas, which is readily abundant in North America.

The fit is so obvious that auto manufacturers are already racing to exploit it.

Earlier this month, Hyundai announced that it’s bringing its XCIENT hydrogen fuel cell semitruck to the U.S. market next year.

Hyundai Hydrogen Truck

The truck has 450 miles of range when fully loaded and can be refilled in roughly 30 minutes. 

In fact, it may surprise you to learn that Hyundai has been developing its hydrogen fuel cell technology for two decades now. 

It introduced a fuel cell bus in South Korea in 2019 and now has more than 330 in operation. Beyond that, it has 47 hydrogen trucks on the road in Switzerland. 

Other countries where Hyundai’s fuel cell vehicles are operational include Germany, Israel, and New Zealand. 

But for investors, the best way to play the hydrogen vehicle trend isn’t Hyundai. 

It’s actually the company that invented the first fuel cell bus a company that’s already inked deals with Mercedes and Chrysler and just signed a massive deal with China’s largest engine and auto parts companies…

And I’ve got a free presentation on it right here if you’re interested.

Fight on,

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Jason Simpkins

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Jason Simpkins is Assistant Managing Editor of the Outsider Club and Investment Director of Wall Street's Proving Ground, a financial advisory focused on security companies and defense contractors. For more on Jason, check out his editor's page. 

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