The current Spanish Presidency of the EU (along many other countries and stakeholders) is very keen on pushing for the development of electric cars as highlighted in its Electric Vehicles Discussion Paper. Next 9 February a so-called « Informal meeting of EU competitiveness ministers » will discuss this topic and on 25-26 May a « Competitiveness Council » should adopt an EU action plan on electric vehicles.
All nice at a first glance but there are many issues ahead as already highlighted in my blog.
Obviously there’s the ‘energy question’ or more exactly the question of how the electricy is produced. The report by Greenpeace launched at this occasion explains well the challenge: electric cars are only sensible if the electricity is from renewables. Unfortunately they don’t speak about the possible ‘resource’ problem to produce the batteries, which is highlighted in the paper of the Spanish presidency: « Furthermore, the availability of raw materials needed for battery and component production also deserves attention as many of these can be found only outside Europe, sometimes in unstable political regions. It needs to be ensured that this does not lead to a substantial increase in costs ad that undue dependency in avoided. »
It’s good that this key issue is at least mentionned event though there’s no concrete proposal to face this problem…Switching our ways of getting around from the car towards the train, public transports, the bike etc…would probably be the best, most efficient and quickest way to solve the problem, at least a major part of it but, of course, all our societies are dependent on the car industry (employment, income, taxes etc) so…it’s like we need to adapte our lives to the car industry and not the car industry to the society