The director of CATL, a company specializing in the manufacture of batteries, alerts the Chinese government to the need to reduce polluting emissions linked to this industry.
Today, electric cars have been growing in popularity for several years now, with market share dropping from 7.9% in the first six months of 2021 to 12.1% in the same period this year. And with good reason, everything is done by the government to encourage drivers to opt for this motorization, with large tax aids such as the ecological bonus in particular.
But that’s not all, because the European Union has even decided to simply ban the sale of new thermal cars from 2035 onwards. But if the electric car has the advantage of not rejecting any use of polluting gas, it is not 100% clean.
a polluting production
In fact, today, most of the batteries installed in our electric cars are produced in China, although some manufacturers, such as Tesla, are starting to produce their cells in other countries and mainly in the United States. We can also mention Volkswagen, which launched the construction of a Gigafactory in Germany.
But the Middle Kingdom is not well known for paying attention to the environment, although the amount of harmful particles in the air dropped by 40% between 2013 and 2020 in the country, according to the report.Energy Policy Institute from the University of Chicago. However, there is still a long way to go, especially in terms of battery production.
Indeed, according to Zeng Yuqun, manager of the giant CATL specializing in the manufacture of batteries for electric cars, China would have ” apparently late compared to other countries in the world “in terms of managing emissions in the manufacturing process”.
These statements, transmitted by Bloomberg were made during the World Congress on New Energy Vehicles, which took place in Beijing. Several industry representatives were then present in order to try to find solutions to make the electric car even cleaner in the future.
In turn, Chen Hong, president of SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, denounces the strategy of some manufacturers, who launch themselves “blindly” into the development of models with greater autonomy, thus requiring greater consumption of resources. A situation that may not last while the cost of raw materials is exploding.
According to a report by Bloombergthe price of lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite has increased eightfold compared to September 2021. This has the effect of pushing up prices for new electric cars, even if the market is also disrupted by the war in Ukraine and the shortage of semiconductors.
Congress participants therefore urge China to make effortsas well as the implementation of measures establish an up-to-date carbon emissions database, encourage companies to improve production facilities, invest more in energy efficient products, and develop battery recycling activities“.
Another solution could be the development of solid-state batteries, which could “reduce the carbon footprint of an electric car battery by up to 39%”, according to a report by the NGO Transport and Environment. But that’s not all, because a Swedish company is working alongside him to develop a battery using wood.
Batteries made in Europe
Finally, the production of batteries will be less and less polluting, as it is carried out with low carbon energy. This is also the case with the Chinese giant CATL, which has already opened a factory in Germany that uses renewable energy and intends to do the same with a Gigafactory in Hungary.
However, the extraction of metals should also be cleaner, but it is on the right track, as evidenced by the various European projects, whether in France or Germany. Recycling is also a very interesting path and has already been implemented by manufacturers.
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