How E-Vehicles Are Contributing Towards Sustainable Development

By MS Chugh, Founder and Chairman, Aponyx EV

With the rapid growth of environmental pollution and climate change, the need for innovative solutions and technologies has increased in several industries, including the automobile industry, since one of the primary sources of air pollution in cities is vehicle exhaust. The most significant advantage of electric vehicles is that they contribute to curbing pollution, which results in improving air quality in cities. Furthermore, pure electric vehicles produce no carbon dioxide while driving, and they also reduce air pollution. In addition, electric vehicles are economical, require little maintenance, and, above all, are environmentally friendly.

The Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, are 17 interrelated global goals designed as ‘a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all.’ The UN General Assembly set the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 to be achieved by 2030. Before considering the characteristics of electric vehicles, let’s look at the challenges and concerns regarding EVs and how they ensure sustainability.

Switch to EV

There are many compelling reasons for change, and it happens faster than you think. The governments of France, England, Norway, the Netherlands and India have committed to switching to electric vehicles (timings vary – 2025-2030). To mitigate the impact of electric vehicle charging. India aims to achieve around 40% of its total installed electricity capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy sources by 2030. Electric vehicles are, therefore, the way forward for India’s transport, and we should switch now.

EV- the hope of betterment

A strong boost to clean mobility is essential if India has to reach its SDG goals. Here, electric vehicles offer a glimmer of hope. They eliminate exhaust emissions, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, improve community health, ensure energy security, and improve employment and training prospects.

Linking electric mobility with renewable energy goals will decarbonize the transport sector. Electric vehicles powered by clean energy sources enhance the share of renewable energy in the energy mix (SDG target 7.2) and help combat air pollution and related health impacts (SDG target 3.9). Promote sustainable and inclusive industrialization (SDG Goal 9.2) and promote the integration of SMEs into value chains and markets (SDG Goal 9.3). It can ease the integration of small-scale industrial firms in value chains and marketplaces and promote sustainable and inclusive industrialization (SDG Target 9.2) (SDG Target 9.3). Batteries can be mined for precious metals when completely discharged, promoting resource conservation and sustainable management (SDG Target 12.2).

Recycling and efficient end-of-life management of spent batteries can significantly reduce waste production (SDG Target 12.5). People can access modern, affordable, dependable energy services (SDG Target 7.1). It is the need of the hour that India, too, pledges to provide access to systems of transportation that are secure, economical, practical, and sustainable (SDG Target 11.2)

 Challenges and Concerns

Electric vehicles are still expensive compared to other standard vehicles. The average EV battery cost is estimated to be 50-60% of the total manufacturing cost, making it twice as expensive as gasoline vehicles. The move towards electric vehicles is very ambitious but a large and expensive undertaking. Countries need to be financially prepared for such a rapid transformation as it will require significant investments in the infrastructure necessary for electric vehicles.

Recycling Woes

Buyback programs offered by car manufacturers ensure high collection rates and offer circular economy opportunities. However, recycling used lithium-ion batteries is not economical. These batteries contain different metals and minerals in each battery cell, making it difficult and expensive to isolate and extract the individual elements. Without progressive regulation to ensure recycling, valuable metals and minerals are lost to landfills as unrecycled waste. Additional efforts are also needed to establish recycling facilities for lithium-ion to enable end-of-life collection.

Battery swap – a virtuous solution

In an alternative model, the manufacturer owns the battery and charges the driver for the performance delivered based on usage. This model helps ensure that all EV batteries are accountable to manufacturers and guarantee 100% recycling and recovery.

Less cost of commuting

Electric vehicles offer several benefits in terms of maintenance and operation. Less than 25% of what it would cost to drive the same distance in a gasoline automobile is needed to charge and operate an electric vehicle. In addition, they are less expensive to maintain than gasoline and diesel vehicles because they have fewer moving components. The only substantial expense is replacing the battery after 5–6 years of use.

Owning an electric vehicle can eliminate air pollution as it does not emit smoke or dangerous exhaust fumes. Besides, electric vehicles are a friend of the ecosystem. They are the world leader in zero pollution. To summarize, electric vehicles are more efficient and emit less emissions than gasoline engines.

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