According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report, it seems that the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is at an all-time high.
Comparing 2016 and this year’s third quarter sales, a massive 63 percent jump had been recorded. Additionally, sales for the second quarter of this year had also seen a 23 percent surge.
Among the countries that continue to integrate the use of EVs into their daily lives, China accounts for more than half of the worldwide sales, with Europe coming in second, and North America, third.
The increase in Chinese demand has been dramatic due to the government doubling its efforts in reducing pollution levels. Although a drop in sales was recorded in the last quarter of 2016, sales began to surge, from the meager 40,000 now to almost 200,000, BNEF says.
The March Towards a Cleaner and Greener Environment
China’s environmental efforts continue to ramp up in a move to decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which the country had notoriously topped contributing to an average of 29.51 percent in CO2 emissions by country. In an attempt to curtail CO2 emissions and reduce landfill waste, a growing number of companies have resorted to recycling EVs and other hybrid cars. While traditional auto recycling involves turning scrap metal into recycled steel, EVs, on the other hand, are most often recycled for their batteries.
EV batteries contain lithium, a component that’s also seeing an increase in demand for its viability in laptops, cameras, and smartphones as rechargeable batteries. Albeit a long-term goal, standardization of materials–including batteries–that considers recycling will not only sustain electric vehicles and gadgets of communication — it will also sustain life.
The One Million Goal
With China forefronting the use of EVs for environmental awareness, it is expected that the rest of the world will follow suit, with BNEF predicting that sales will exceed one million units for the first time by the end of the year.
Various automakers such as Volvo, Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler, and the Volkswagen Group have already announced their plans for expanding their line of electric models to cater to the demands of the current market. More good news, the UK, and France are also setting out plans to completely diminish the use of diesel and new petrol in cars by 2040. China is on its way to carry out the ban; the Netherlands predict it’s set to be imposed by 2030, and in the U.S., the state of California is reportedly considering the idea as well.
With the support of government incentives, EVs will eventually become more affordable than regular cars, Aleksandra O’Donovan said, BNEF’s advanced transport analyst. In the future, hybrid cars will become the more practical solution to car owners. In the next 10 years, every car available in the market will have a full EV variant, and the adoption rate of such technologies will boom as well. In 20 years, we might even see a world where combustion vehicles are merely a thing of the past, something that the future generation will only see in books.
Opportunities in Auto Recycling Industry
As the use of hybrid cars and EVs become more prevalent, the importance of finding safe and environmentally friendly ways of disposing car batteries becomes more highlighted as well. The opportunities for the automotive recycling industry, therefore, will grow exponentially.
With proper education and training, professionals in the auto recycling industry will contribute to the widespread use of lithium-ion batteries, which according to the Financial Times will become a larger than life industry by 2025.
Even automakers seem positive of battery recycling. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, for one, tweeted in July that his company’s Nevada factory “will be fully powered by clean energy when complete and include battery recycling.”
At the end of the day, recycling car batteries isn’t just about economics. It also brings forth awareness of what sustainability is all about. As more and more electric vehicles are purchased and used every day around the globe, the number of EV batteries that need to be either recycled or reused will continue to grow as well. There are components in batteries that should not be dumped in landfills, and so to promote environmental stability, recycling isn’t just an economic agenda — it’s a need.