We don’t need more cars on the road, we need to rethink our mobility system instead.
When Elon Mulk and team came up with the first Tesla model, the Roadster, the entire world was watching. This model showed unprecedented ranges of up to 394 km, and due to its electric drivetrain, was able to achieve impressive accelerations. The only hiccup was its price of $109,000 making it a luxury car.
Since then, the price of electric cars have been continuously declining, the cheapest electric car available today in Canada being the Volkswagen e-Golf and the Nissan Leaf.
With an economy of scale, all stars align to predict that in a near future, automakers in North America will be able to create “cheap” electric cars that the majority of the auto-drivers will be able to afford. Will you buy an electric car then?
What if there was another way to reduce everyone’s emissions by breaking out of the traditional car ownership model?
In it in automakers’ best interests to keep our traditional habits of owning one or multiple cars per household. It doesn’t matter to them if the cars you are choosing to drive are electric or not, as long as they can sell you goods, and resale them to you a few years later once that car has broken down or you want a change. The cycle of consumerism is never ending. On that, Elon Musk famously declared that public transit was “a pain in the ass” showing a rather egocentric vision of mobility.
Sure electric cars have the enormous potential to reduce emissions over day-to-day operations, but what about the scarce or distant resources we need to produce each of them? What about the resources it takes to recycle the dead batteries, knowing that today we don’t have a turnkey solution for large-scale battery recycling?
There are plenty of pilot battery recycling plants, but I am yet to find one company that showed consistency and efficiency in the way they deal with tonnes of dead batteries: at this point it’s only promises. Though I am very hopeful that humanity will find a solution to deal with this particular issue, the rise of electric vehicles gives an opportunity to rethink how we get to places, and if we can reduce or…