Clean Mobility and Lithium ion batteries

 Its a well known fact that if anything which has helped by the rise of clean mobility hype then that is rechargable battery startups, industries and the ecosystem. Electric vehicle were popular from the time when lead acid batteries improved their capacity in 1880's but the capacity is not enough for the mobility transformation and were a symbol of luxury. Lithium ion battery industry came into existence when the Sony has cracked successful after 11 decades or a century later in the year 1991. The improved capacity of lithium ion cells were a great advantage and made them viable for long distance travel. Still the cost of the cells is a challenge for the masses to adapt. We can say that the Tesla and Panasonic partnership was the game changing for the mobility sector, it has given the way for many others to mass produce the cells and decrease the price. From last decade the prices of the cells per kilo watt hour have decreased drastically due to both mass production and new inventions (material & process).

At present the combustion vehicles are still at an advantage due to cheaper price and ease of refilling fuel. There is a constant push from various governments across the world to kick start the adoption of EV by masses. There are numerous subsidies to the manufacturer and users of the EV, so that they are more attractive from combustion vehicles. Its a common point by the EV manufacturer or governments that EV's are cleaner mobility alternatives since they don't release any gases to atmosphere. It may be true since we dont see any evolution of gases when they drive an EV. If we closely consider the source of electricity, it may occur to our mind that most of electricity comes from the coal and therefore we are burning coal to power our EV. Well this argument is also true. Whatever may be the outcome of this argument, we understood that the production of electricity has to be renewable to ensure our electric mobility will be cleaner.

There is another argument wrt the total CO2 produced when we calculate for all the resources utilized from making a EV and in its life cycle. Its argued that the mining of the materials used for making the cell and EV parts utlise more resources and the EV life is shorter when compared to the combustion vehicle. This is a very good point on how to decrease the CO2 print on the whole life cycle of EV. It can be reduced first by bringing the best standards in the EV, enhancing the the effective utilization of every watt hour we have charged (mileage), and also increasing the lifetime of the EV. The batteries which take huge chunk in cost of EV should be reused after end of life in EV, either in other transportation mode or energy storage. The cells which are not of any use should be recycled rather then dumping in the open. 

Finally, for the EV to be cleaner, (a) we need to make the electric supply cleaner by increasing the renewable energy, (b) the life time of the EV and the cells need to be longer (c) after the end of life for the EV, they need to be recycled responsibly.

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We have a EVCC calculator, for calculating the cost advantage of EV over combustion engine vehicle: Electric Vehicle Consumption Comparison Calculator