Electric cars and their batteries are proving to be one of the biggest industries globally, right now. As the availability of natural resources – such as coal – continue to plummet, automotive producers have to brainstorm, and find alternatives. As things appear, we may have found a solution, after all. Electric Cars. Thanks to visionaries like Elon Musk, electric cars are a rage in the modern world. The boost in electric car sales is proof of its concept and acceptance, respectively. Furthermore, it is great news that we may have stumbled upon a discovery that may well help us put an end to the menace of air pollution and other environmental hazards. Having said that, there is a question that remains – can we strike a balance in the production of electric cars and batteries? This is a question, we at Battmobile UAE debated on recently, and put our team to find credible insights and answers. This blog sheds a light on our findings.
First things first, the mining of minerals and metals for making electric batteries often poses a threat to the environment and some of the non-renewable minerals might even get extinct. Hence it is very important to learn about how to maximize the production of electric batteries with safe and use green methods.
Electric Cars and Batteries Production and Issues
The era of electric vehicles is upon us. The majority of car manufacturers have issued an ultimatum that they will completely stop the production of petrol/diesel-based vehicles approximately by 2035. This is a huge step in the automobile industry. Although electric cars are said to be eco-friendly and pollution-free, the process of making batteries involves the mining of harmful minerals and metals and the excessive use of electricity is also a cause of concern.
With the increase in the manufacture of electric vehicles, scientists are working on two major challenges:
- How to cut down the number of metals in the batteries. The inclusion of metals that are used in battery production is expensive, and problematic because their mining involves harsh environmental and social costs.
- The other is to improve battery recycling so that the important metals used in batteries can be efficiently reused. This reduces the cost and also reduces the mining of metals.
Lithium is the Future
The major challenge for researchers is to reduce the number of metals in batteries. The amount of metals used in a lithium battery depends upon the battery type and model type of the vehicle. The majority of the analysts say that lithium batteries are here to stay. The cost of lithium batteries has crashed down dramatically and hence they look indispensable in near future. They are now 30 times inexpensive than when they first entered the market as small, portable batteries in the early 1990s, even as their performance has improved. The durability of a lithium battery is much longer as compared to any other battery. With all these developments, it is most likely that the sale price of an electric vehicle is going to come down considerably, in the next few years.
Growth in Electric Cars and Batteries
According to various corporate reportage available online, the sale of electric cars has increased from 3 million in 2017 to 25 million in 2030. That is a massive increase in the production of electric batteries. The cost of using an electric car is much cheaper as compared to the petrol/diesel-based vehicle. The cost of petrol is nearly ten times as compared to electricity. Hence, most people are opting for electric vehicles. The electrification of mobility is increasing at such a pace that even the most advanced people in the automobile industry might not have predicted it. In 2035, around half the global population will be using electric vehicles. Alongside the surging demand, electric car manufacturers are constantly looking for new and better methods to improve the quantity and quality of the batteries. Continuous researches and experiments are being conducted, globally, by experts to determine how to make batteries eco-friendly, how to reduce the cost, and ways in which less metal usage can occur in battery production. Speaking of metals management, Lithium in itself is not scarce. In today’s world, Lithium is available in significant quantities, but other raw materials like Manganese, Cobalt, and Nickel are very scarce and also there mining is harmful to the environment. Hence it is very important to take proper care and manage the use of these raw metals. Scientists are working round-the-clock to reduce the use of these metals in electric batteries.
Improve Battery Recycling Practices
The recycling procedure is as important as manufacturing a battery. Research efforts have focused on improving the process to make recycled lithium economically attractive. We need to make sure that materials that can be recycled are used in batteries. This is the only way by which we can develop electric vehicles without harming the environment too much.
In most recycling plants, car batteries are typically broken down into finer particles, and this powdered mix is further liquified using a smelter or through acid-based dissolution. Finally, the metals are reproduced as salts. The only solution to improve the environment for the automobile industry is to increase walking and cycling practices, use methods like carpooling, public transport for everyday travel. Usage of lithium battery-made vehicles should be used to transport heavy goods and in big locomotive vehicles.