Electric cars, the time of choice


Several states have expressed their desire to turn definitively towards electric vehicles considered more environmentally friendly than thermal vehicles.

China, most Western countries, India, have set targets for the abandonment of thermal vehicles in favour of electric vehicles by 2030-2040 in each country. Some states have even made the choice to offer tax reductions to any electric vehicle buyer (USA, Germany for example). RATP and the Ile-de-France region are considering acquiring electric buses.

Thermal vehicles are blamed for pollution and environmental problems. There is no question of denying this evidence. However, it is important to look closely at the consequences of a possible change:

Difficult access to the automobile

Electric vehicles are expensive and not available to everyone. Take for example the small ZOE Renault, this vehicle costs about 30000 €. This represents months of minimum wages.

A problem for Western automotive industries

A possible bankruptcy or dependence of the Western automobile industries for the benefit of the countries holding minerals essential for the construction of these vehicles can be considered.

An article in Le Monde diplomatique reveals that rare metals (galium, tantalum, cobalt, platinoids, tungsten, rare earths) are essential for the construction of electric vehicles. China holds for example 80% of the rare earths, one can imagine that the passage to all-electric reinforces China and that the latter increases the price of its rare earths to the detriment of its competitors.

The environment not spared

The extraction of minerals essential in the manufacture of electric vehicles is not without consequences for the environment. China, a major producer of its metals, in areas where minerals have been mined and refined, there are environmental problems. Residents who are near these areas, “… breathe, drink, and eat toxic waste from nearby refining plants.” The water used for the purification of these lands contaminates several cubic meters of water.

The extraction and refining of these rare metals generates a lot of pollution in the countries concerned (USA, Chile, DRC,).

It is observed that driving electric vehicles causes a lot of negative impacts on the environment. This is surprising, since it was hoped to reduce pollution by using electric vehicles.

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Source of information : Le Monde diplomatique août 2018

A propos de Etienne GON

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