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 Back to the Future Part II, the sequel to the blockbuster hit, was a terrible movie. Perhaps its most sinister element was persuading 12-year-olds across the country that hover boards would be available in the not-so-distant future of 2015. Suffice it to say, it’s 2024 and we are no closer to hover boards than we are to floating DeLoreans.

That’s because of the obvious realities of physics and limits of engineering. “Reality is that which, once you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away,” the writer Philip K. Dick famously said.

A hover board-like delusion has set in among those who believe in the so-called “energy transition,” the idea that America is gradually replacing oil and gas with renewable energy as the country’s primary energy source. But despite decades of private sector investment and government subsidies, no meaningful “replacement” of any kind is taking place. Any growth in the use of renewables is simply adding to the country’s growing demand.

A new report from the National Center for Energy Analytics demonstrates how complicated and improbable even just one piece of the “energy transition” puzzle can be.

Eighteen states have laws and regulations that require every new car or truck sold after 2035 to be an electric vehicle (EV).  The NCEA study found that “the physical infrastructure needed to support an all-EV future will entail overall costs ranging between $2 trillion and $4 trillion.”

That’s just for the infrastructure – the new chargers, transmission lines, and stations that would make the same level of convenient travel we have today possible. It doesn’t include the cost to build out the massive amount of new electricity generation, nor the cost of the vehicles themselves.

Compared to an all-EV future, it’s more likely hover boards are just around the corner.