The problem is not an alternative form of energy. The problem is the ability to STORE that energy in a usable form.
Fossil fuel stores tremendous amounts of energy in very light, portable, and safe form factors. Natural Gas has a density of 54 MJ a kilogram. Gasoline is 46.4. Coal is about 28.
Lithium ion batteries … which are still the current standard in EVs? About 0.6. So functionally it takes 77 times more weight in batteries using current technology to store the equivalent amount of energy of a tank of gasoline. EV’s are somewhat more efficient in wheel to well transfer, but they are less efficient in the storage of energy (batteries don’t hold a charge like gasoline can) and are subject to much less efficiency from environmental factors unless the car is engineered very specifically to insulate them correctly.
The second layer of the storage issue is in municipal level energy generation. Cities generate power from fossil fuel, which ultimately is kind of a shell game in terms of being a sustainable system and moves the source of pollution from the exhaust pipe to the power plant. There are some benefits from that, but they’re moderate.
The goal is to get off of fossil entirely … and municipal power can’t do that with solar/wind because they have proven to be very poor ‘on demand’ power generation sources. Power needs are point of demand and so a power generation system has to be able to ‘spin up’ at the peaks, and that’s difficult for solar & wind to do because their peak generations are either fixed (solar) or unpredictable (wind). Therefore if solar and wind are replace fossil then it is critically important to have the ability to store huge amounts of peak energy for at least a moderate period of time.
And we currently just can’t do that very well. There are salt heat storage systems that try to store the energy as heat to then drive turbines, but they’re not very efficient and are massively expensive to set up and maintain.
The true revolution will come when human beings invent a better energy storage technology. They’re trying. Some exotic tech like Lithium Air batteries are kind of sort of at bench level existence (about 7 MJ per kg). But we don’t have anything that’s even close to being suitable for practical energy storage on a level even vaguely comparable to the convenience (and cost) offered by fossil fuels…
…except for one…
A rational bridge between sustainable energy and fossil exists. Nuclear. Thorium nuclear plants are incredibly promising and could very easily fill in the gap as humanity works on a proper solution. Unfortunately very few governments are considering it, despite the fact that small thorium plants that could power entire cities exist that are as small as a shipping container. The stigma of nuclear just seems to hold government’s back, despite it being a safe and viable alternative to fossils.
Solar cars don’t work except as a cute tech demo … too heavy and unreliable. Garbage? The only energy from that is either methane emissions (a fossil fuel) or burning it (not a good solution). Hydrogen cells are cool, but the catalysts are mega expensive and not practical for mass adoption.
We all want Mr. Fusion … but alas it remains a fantasy at the current time. I predict fossil will be around for quite some time as it is the cheapest, most powerful energy storage medium that exists. EVs will continue to improve, but will remain more expensive than ICE equivalents and will continue to use fossil generated electricity for the foreseeable future.