The World Needs the Next Step In Sustainability And You Can Build A Career Making It Happen

Despite strong statements about the need to change to sustainability, very little is happening. Many believe that the change to electric vehicles is going rapidly, but in most countries less than 2 percent of all cars are electric. Heavy electric trucks were launched only in the past few years and there are only a few hundred on the road globally. The EU and many governments have set ambitious goals for the transformation, but few have realised that another type of approach will be needed.

The EU has decided that all countries in the union will become fossil-free by 2045. The UK government has decided to ban the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and the Swedish government has decided that Sweden will be fossil-free by 2030. None of them have realised what needs to be done to achieve this.

You can build your career on learning about the change and by starting to apply your knowledge at work or in discussions with friends! Everyone who wants to speed up the change to a sustainable society can help to lead the development in the new direction. Soon everyone will learn about the necessary steps and companies will start to take measures to prepare for them. This has already started in Sweden. Sweden is third in the transformation to electromobility after Norway and Iceland.

5% of cars in Sweden are electric or hybrid. This is still not a lot. In Norway 10% of all cars are electric, and Norway is by far the world leader.

 

Leaders in Sweden Start to Realise…

What is now about to happen in Sweden? An increasing number of people start to realise that electromobility is not only about cars, batteries, and charging posts. To fuel all cars, buses, and trucks in the near future with electricity most countries need more power than is produced at present. How about that? Large numbers of electric vehicles need large amounts of power! That’s something governments will learn as they push electromobility forward by subsidising cars and building charging infrastructure. And what a surprise that will be! Countries simply don’t have access to all the power needed to fuel huge fleets of electric vehicles. It’s as easy as that.

How can you build a career on this insight?

You can start to learn the things that other people around you will realise in the years to come, and you can work with the exciting expansion of electromobility in the early stages, understanding the systems aspects of the transformation. Employers are going to look for people with a system understanding of the change when they hire people in 2023, 2024, and onwards… Some already do.

So, what does this magic knowledge consist of? This insight is the same as the insight people made when they built systems in the past. If you want to build railways you also need trains, signal systems, station houses, ticket sellers, and timetables. If you want to build phone systems you also need switching systems, substations, phone sellers, and once you have smart phones you need apps, app developers, companies that do business on mobile networks etc. The strange thing is that so few have realised that the change to electromobility will require the development of entire systems.

 

What Will Be Needed?

This is simple, so hang on! You only need to grasp a few basics to get started.

To run entire vehicle fleets on electricity, countries need:

  • Large numbers of cars and trucks at prices that are competitive against petrol and diesel vehicles.

 

  • Enough chargers to charge all cars and trucks wherever they are and whenever they need to be charged. This is how it is with petrol and diesel. There is always a filling station nearby. Only, with electric cars it can take anything from 10 minutes up to several hours to charge, so there will have to be many more chargers. Most vehicles will charge slowly over-night, but many will have to be charged during the day as well, or perhaps instead, depending on where they are and what they are used for.

 

  • Enough power will eventually be needed so that all vehicles can be charged whenever will be needed. But power production will need to grow rapidly over the next few years and decades:

 

  • Don’t worry about Norway and Iceland, they probably have more power than any other country on the planet. Norway produces 125 TWh with only 5 million people. The UK with 67 million people has a production of 2.5 times that amount, 325 TWh per year. Norwegians don’t have to plan the transformation to the extent that people will have to do in the UK.

 

  • To fuel all 34 million cars in the UK with electricity the country will need the power equivalent to 15 nuclear reactors. 50 % more, or 8 reactors will be needed to charge trucks, making it a total of 23. And this is in the summer. In the winter even more is needed. Maybe as much as another 10-12 reactors will be needed to power vehicles in the coldest winter weeks. The need amounts to some 100 TWh, 30% of current power production.

 

  • Germany with 48 million cars will need even more. Some 135 TWh and the generation resources would be in the area of 31 nuclear reactors, but more in the winter. The current production in Germany amounts to 600 TWh, so this country only needs to produce a little more than 20% more than it does at present.

 

  • I use “nuclear reactor” as a unit that is fairly easy to relate to. A nuclear reactor can cover the need of about 2.2 million cars in the summer. The same amount of power is generated by about 1,500 wind turbines. In Germany they have 30,000 wind turbines that generate 100 TWh of power.

 

  • Power production is not the only thing that politicians need to worry about. European power grids are super stable, but they are not built for the charging of all vehicles on a daily basis. To charge all cars the local power grids in cities will need to expand. Consider all parking garages where hundreds of cars may have to be charged at the same time, maybe over-night! There will have to be one charger for every car. Consider the streets where cars are parked along the kerb, day and night. Where will all these cars charge? Maybe at fast-chargers or countries may need to build electric roads where vehicles can charge on-the-go.

 

  • To charge all trucks there will be a need for very large amounts of power at transport companies and logistics centres. Countries only use half as much electricity for trucks as they do for cars, but each truck uses much more than one car, and every truck will need to be charged every night and in many cases, they will need to be charged during the day as well.

 

  • A logistics company with 35 heavy trucks going long distances that is located in Lytham St Annes outside of Blackpool is probably going to need much more power than is currently available in Lythan St Annes at present. To run the entire truck fleet on electricity expansions of both regional and local grids are likely to be needed.

 

  • This is only one example where a lot of power will have to be provided at previously unexpected places. According to Volvo there are stretches of motorway in Germany where 30,000 trucks pass every day. In a fossil-free future many of them will have to be charged along the road. Maybe countries will build electric road systems, but until these have been developed a lot of chargers will be needed.

 

  • Maybe you did not expect to have to learn about these things and I am sure that few have thought that they will have to get involved. But to succeed with this transformation a lot of people will have to take part in a wide range of activities. Chargers will have to be built all over cities, towns, and villages and a lot of people who have never even considered how much electricity will be needed will have to be involved in decisions and planning.

 

An extraordinary number of people at all levels will have to learn about these things and become able to join meetings and make decisions. You can be among the first to pick up this knowledge in your local area and become a leader of the transformation, knowing what to do and telling others about it!

 

One of the things that will be needed is training courses that teach people in different roles in companies and public organizations some of the basics about these things. You can start a company offering courses or a teacher training others.

  • One more thing that will be needed is businesses offering products and services. People will need to charge and there will be several different types of charging systems with different business logics. Many will want to charge at home, some at the office, and some as they stop for a snack along the motorway. Different business concepts will be needed.
    • Information about chargers, opportunities to plan routes and book chargers will be needed.
    • People will have to pay for charging and there are numerous ways of doing this – via credit card, tags, using mobile apps, or directly as chargers recognize the car and charge the customer’s account automatically.
    • You can work at one of the companies that are emerging, or perhaps start one of them yourself.

 

You Will Be Needed!

A lot of people will need to work with the transformation to e-mobility in the future and it will pay to learn. Why not start now? Follow my postings on Medium and on www.getinstitute.com and learn the skills you need to take part in the electromobility revolution.

Many will be surprised by the twists and turns that the development is likely to take, but if you follow my posts you will not be one of them! Start to learn now and prepare to take part! Your country needs you!