Electric dreams – or not?
Some of the biggest names in the motor industry have voiced their concerns about the push to become all-electric car manufacturers.
This is also due to their concerns over the availability of charging points and costs, especially in lower income countries. All car makers are expected to cease production of petrol, diesel, and hybrid engine cars by 2035 in an effort by governments to reduce their carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, however some countries may not have the infrastructure in place by 2035 to support the move to all electric.
Toyota President, Akio Toyoda expressed his concerns to spectators and shareholders at an event in Japan, stating: “It is difficult to make everyone happy with a one-size-fits-all option. That is why Toyota wants to prepare as many options as possible for our customers around the world.” This was said after the company invested $35bn into producing electric cars.
Despite these concerns, other manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, General Motors, and Ford have “gone “all in” on electric vehicles” and have set dates for when they plan to cease the production and sale of vehicles featuring combustion engines.
Alternatives to electric
BMW says it will focus on recycling and reusing old car parts, especially from combustion engines and cutting down on carbon emissions from its factories rather than simply ceasing production on petrol and diesel cars and exclusively creating electric cars.
Toyota launched thirty new electric models back in December 2021 but emphasised their devotion to alternative technologies such as hydrogen energy, reiterating their commitment to providing customers with as many options as possible.
Keeping options open will cost manufactures a lot of money, especially after investing so much into battery powered cars. The industry plans to invest around $330bn over the next five years. Other sources of fuel that manufactures are exploring include hydrogen and biomethane, which could be an alternative to battery power for commercial transport to their light weight, a view expressed by EU transport commissioner Adina-Ioana Valean.
Alternatives may be necessary as electric vehicle prices remain higher than their petrol counterparts, even Mercedes admitted that wealthier people will switch to electric much sooner.
As Bosch CEO, Volkmar Denner pointed out: “Modern diesel engines no longer have higher [nitrogen oxide tailpipe] emissions than other vehicles, and particulate emissions for the gasoline engines has been decreased by the factor of 100,” and that this would have been impossible if they stopped investing in such technologies.
About The Author
Joseph Catley – SYPC Media Manager