Giving EVs a Norwegian boost? / Columns / The Foreigner

Giving EVs a Norwegian boost?. Electric vehicles are taking Norway by storm. People assume that they contribute less to climate change than petrol vehicles. They still require resources. Various materials form the vehicle. Electricity charges the battery. Producing the battery is a major source of greenhouse gases. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim suggest that making the battery is half of an electric vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions.

cars, climate, electriccars, co2, emissions, globalwarming, climatechange



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Giving EVs a Norwegian boost?

Published on Sunday, 10th August, 2014 at 00:38 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last Updated on 10th September 2014 at 09:43.

Electric vehicles are taking Norway by storm. People assume that they contribute less to climate change than petrol vehicles.

Smart parking
Is the smartest car electric or petrol?Smart parking
Photo: Ilan Kelman


They still require resources. Various materials form the vehicle. Electricity charges the battery.

Producing the battery is a major source of greenhouse gases. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim suggest that making the battery is half of an electric vehicle's carbon dioxide emissions.

Their report points out that most of the batteries come from Asia. Why not, they ask, make them in Norway?

An excellent question with solid ideas for making battery manufacturing more local. Sustainability means considering a product's entire lifetime. Extraction of raw materials, construction, decommissioning, and waste management can emit more pollution than using the product.

Other advantages emerge from local production. Norwegian labour laws tend to treat workers better than in many other countries. Mining and transport impacts would be experienced first-hand, rather than being hidden on the other side of the globe.

That entails the needed materials being available in Norway at their required quantities. Many raw materials would still need to be imported into Norway, even if processed and manufactured in-country.

Additionally, a vehicle's lifelong impact is not just about carbon dioxide emissions. We need to calculate all environmental consequences.

NTNU's work provides a needed, science-based starting point for the debates and calculations. As long as we remember that electric vehicles are far from the perfect sustainability solution.

Ilan Kelman is a Reader in Risk, Resilience and Global Health at University College London. He does not drive.




Published on Sunday, 10th August, 2014 at 00:38 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.
Last updated on 10th September 2014 at 09:43.

This post has the following tags: cars, climate, electriccars, co2, emissions, globalwarming, climatechange.





  
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