Light-duty EVs in the US used more electricity than rail systems for the first time in 2023, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The EIA started publishing estimated EV electricity consumption at the national, regional, and state levels in 2018. It derives its EV electricity consumption estimates using a model instead of using its traditional surveys (and notes that models are “subject to model error, which we are trying to understand better.”) It compared the estimates with consumption data from electric utilities that report transportation sector end use, which is almost only municipal and regional rail systems.

The federal agency says that annual electricity consumption by railways has been the largest electricity end-use category in the transportation sector published in its Electric Power Monthly report since 2003. Railway electricity usage has been stable for the last two decades, averaging about 7,000 GWh, and the US has had only limited expansion of municipal railway systems or electrified passenger rail during that period (but that’s going to change; for example, see the “read more” below).

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EVs Now Consume More Power Than The US Railroad System

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