Electric Driving and Environment



It sounds sustainable: electric driving. But what threatens people and the environment is exactly the high demand for it. Battery raw materials do not come out without contamination and infringement.


Massive replacement of fossil fuel vehicles with electric vehicles poses a threat to the environment and human rights. Extraction of battery raw materials such as lithium and cobalt involves misuse. Therefore, the government needs to focus on other clean transportation strategies, such as fewer cars and smaller cars.

This warning is from the research organization Somo of the report The Battery Paradox. NGOs and other organizations have reported the devastating social and environmental impacts of mining minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and graphite, Somo said. Soil and water pollution due to the use of chemicals, community migration, child labor, exploitation, etc. As the demand for batteries for electric vehicles soars, so do these problems. Switching to clean transportation is far from sustainable.

Almost every large and wealthy region, including the US, EU, China, and the automotive industry, will rely on as many electric vehicles as possible in the coming decades. For example, three years ago, they founded the Global Battery Alliance, a public-private organization. Promoting this market involves significant government subsidies. In addition, companies are investing heavily to further develop the production of lithium-ion batteries needed for electrical transportation.

More public transport shared cars and carpooling

This energetic policy and the accompanying large expenditures could land society with a so-called `lockin’, a path that is difficult to break, but which is not sustainable in the longer term. Instead, countries and the European Union should push down the demand for energy for passenger transport. This is possible with more public transport, shared cars, and carpool systems.

In addition, companies should be required to map all the way from mining the raw materials from the Scottsdale used car sales to the production of the battery. They must be able to guarantee that a battery is made without violation of human rights and free from environmental pollution and that enough is earned from production at the bottom of the chain.

Another issue is the recycling of old batteries. Currently, resources are more difficult to retrieve than necessary. Battery design hasn’t paid much attention to what to do at the end of its life. Also, there are too many differences between batteries. Companies need to be able to guarantee that old batteries can be recycled as easily as possible.