A diffident electric transition

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are expected to be the new norm in the future. With global mindsets deriving comfort from conventional, fossil-fuel run vehicles, the transition will be nothing short of toilsome.

A need for change

Climate change has tempted individuals to decrease their dependence on the consumption of fossil fuels. To reduce this dependence, the adoption of renewable sources of energy is seen as the ultimatum for ushering in a brighter future. Electric vehicles are one of the ways in which individuals can take a step towards this ultimatum.

The market for electric vehicles has grown rapidly and the forecasts for EV adoption over the next decade are positive. However, the pace at which this change will occur relies directly on government policies and other factors such as public acceptance. Many of these forecasts tend to rely on current adoption rates, however, they do not account for the larger scale of individuals.

A shift in ideology

Shifting towards electric vehicles is a valid goal and will fulfill the worldwide demand to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Although this is a collective gain, changing public mindsets to adopt an entirely new norm is a completely different ball game. Electric vehicles are costly. For any product to reach an affordable range, there needs to be a rise in supply.

People belonging to middle-class groups cannot be expected to purchase electric vehicles at their current rates. Ushering electric vehicles into the market does not only mean producing millions of vehicles but it also means the construction of charging centers, employing new equipment for their repairs, etc.

The biggest problem with electric vehicles is their mileage and charging. For consumers to adopt the norm of charging their vehicles every night or every day will become a difficult task. Petrol and diesel cars are praised for their impressive mileage and minimal fueling time. For electric vehicles to become a reality, governments need to start creating policies and implement them without any discrepancies.

The International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook 2021 shows 2020 electric-vehicle sales (left), projected EV sales under current climate-mitigation policies (middle), and projected sales under accelerated climate-mitigation policies (right).

Resource availability

According to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, given the sheer tonnage of lithium, cobalt and other raw materials needed for EV batteries, nearly 300 new mines and supporting refineries would need to be opened to support this number. This number is astounding considering that the construction of such facilities would take extended periods of time. Not only this but countries having the capacity to support these refineries need to be extend their support.

Currently, Chile holds the world’s largest lithium reserves however, there can be various other nations with an even larger reserve to support this developing industry. Research and discoveries need to be made before diving anywhere near towards an electrically dominated future. This gets even more complex when we consider the current scenario of global politics.

An unprepared charge

Steven G. Bradbury, an American attorney and the ex-general counsel of the US Department of Transportation has mentioned that the adoption of electric vehicles is expected to reduce global temperatures by only 0.0002 degrees Fahrenheit. Electric vehicles also require 6 times the mineral inputs required compared to a conventional car. With such statements reaching limelight accompanied by a culmination of unstable policies, the future of electric vehicles remains uncertain.

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