Listed below are all documents and RMI.org site pages related to this topic.
Rocky Mountain Institute’s four scenarios for the future U.S. electricity system ( detailed here
) all have markedly different projected CO2 emissions over the next 40 years.
In evaluating the future U.S. electricity system, Rocky Mountain Institute created capital cost projections for fossil and renewable generation technologies through 2050. Many newer technologies, such as concentrated solar power, solar photovoltaics, and battery storage, are projected to have rapidly declining capital costs in the next 40 years.
Our Revolutionary auto class is based on RMI’s extensive work on the Hypercar. We use a cost model for superefficient battery-electric and fuel cell autos for both cars and light trucks. These vehicles, described in this table, are designed to compete with EIA’s average automobile in price and all driver attributes.
By 2050, 50% of the U.S. vehicle fleet will be electrified —more than 150 million cars and light trucks in all. With an average battery pack size of 18.4 kWh, this would amount to nearly 2,900 GWh of energy storage capacity. The addition of such a large and potentially unpredictable load could present problems for grid management if electric vehicle charging is not handled effectively.
Some autos currently on the market display specific aspects of Revolutionary design, and are progressing on the path towards truly Revolutionary autos.
Different powertrains have different cost reduction potential for Revolutionary+ autos. By 2020, for example, battery electric vehicles would be priced about $6,000 higher than business-as-usual autos as forecasted by EIA. However, by 2050, this price difference drops to $500 due to learning curves in carbon fiber, structural manufacturing, and battery packs.
The cost of the Revolutionary+ auto decreases over time because we assume that battery electric and fuel cell propulsion costs fit empirically observed learning curves analogous to the history of hundreds of diverse manufactured goods.
Bulk energy storage can be incredibly useful in integrating variable renewable generation and providing ancillary services to the grid. The ultimate application of a particular energy storage technology is largely determined by its discharge time.
Line haul trucks waste a great deal of fuel idling their engines overnight to power small “hotel loads” that cool, heat, and power personal electronics within truck cabs. Auxiliary power units reduce this use by two-thirds; electrified parking spaces eliminate it.