Perhaps no invention has singularly affected transportation around the world as the invention of the internal combustion engine in the 19th century. Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered almost all of the cars, planes, and boats made in modern times.
But put simply, the internal combustion engines that we have relied on for well over a century are highly inefficient. Most of the energy they consume is wasted as heat (which you can feel radiating from under the hood of the car). And with few exceptions, that wasted heat can't be recaptured. The result is that if you drive an ICE car, your overall efficiency hovers around 20%.
One of the biggest advantages of electric vehicles comes down to how EV technology compares to ICE technology. EVs are mechanically simpler and more efficient. Plus, braking actually adds energy rather than subtracting it. Braking can turn the rotor and allow electricity to be fed back to the battery in a process known as regenerative braking. As a result, about nine-tenths of the energy fed to an EV helps it move.
This is monumentally better than any ICE could achieve. It means that as EV adoption grows, energy demand for our collective transportation needs will decline even if we don't drive less. That being said, the road to a future dominated by EVs isn't entirely smooth.
A transition this fast and this global for a technology as fundamental as the automobile has never really been done before. Nonetheless, a combination of innovation and policy can bolster the ongoing EV revolution.