On Thursday, March 23 at 19:30 GMT:
Electric vehicles are hailed as an essential technology on our way to a fossil fuel-free and sustainable future. The US, UK And Europe have all taken measures in recent years to ban new non-electric cars from 2035.
Companies are also taking steps themselves to meet the increased demand for electric vehicles. General engines has committed to become carbon neutral by 2040, while a series of EV startups have also entered the market. But as electric vehicles gain momentum, critics are raising concerns about the degree of their durability and the ethics behind the production process.
Batteries are the core technology of electric cars and they are composed of essential minerals, including lithium, cobalt, copper, graphite and nickel. Their extraction is often marred by environmental pollution and the exploitation of workers in the global south. More than 70 percent of the world’s supply of cobalt is produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where exploitation of workers proliferates in artisanal mining. Mining itself, while an essential part of many economies, comes with high environmental costs like the degradation of forests And contamination and overuse of already scarce water.
In response to these concerns, environmental and human rights advocates are calling for more responsible practices in the industry. The commitment to finding new and better ways to recycle batteries is also emphasized by experts who see recycling as a way reduce dependence on mining and opaque supply chains, while improving sustainability. Better battery resistance And recycling is also seen as an essential step towards more sustainable EVs.
In this episode of The Stream we discuss the sustainability of electric vehicles.
In this episode of The Stream we are joined by:
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis
Christina Bu @ChristinaBu_
Secretary General, Norwegian EV Association
Henry Sanderson @hjesanderson
Author of “Volt Rush: The Winners and Losers in the Race to Go Green”