That's the footprint: A new study says electric cars waste only ~30kg worth of material in their lifetimes -- equivalent to a heavy football -- compared to gasoline cars that burn 17,000 liters | Photo: Euractive

New study says electric cars waste 300X less material than ICE counterparts

A new study by Europe’s Transport and Environment (T&E) found that electric cars that run on li-ion batteries waste 300 times less material than gasoline cars over their lifetime. T&E is an umbrella organisation for European NGOs working on transport and environmental issues, and its analysis found that unlike gasoline cars that typically burn 17,000 litres of fuel over their lifetimes, li-ion batteries can be recycled and thus end up using far less “material” — only about 30kg, or the size of a heavy football. 

The analysis further said that over their lifetimes, electric cars will use 58% less energy and emit 64% less CO2, and the findings come at a time when there is growing interest in recycling battery packs to move away from the relatively high prices of lithium and cobalt. 

Delhi government drops Tata Nexon from subsidy list over customer complaints 

The Delhi government dropped India’s best selling electric car for 2020, the Tata Nexon, from its list of EVs eligible for subsidies over a customer’s complaint that the car never managed more than 200km of driving range — despite it being rated at 320km on a single charge. The complaint may cost Tata Motors in lost sales going forward — it sold more than 2,000 units across India in 2020 — as under the Delhi EV policy, electric cars are eligible for subsidies between ₹1.5 lakh and ₹3 lakh (~$2,100 – $4,200). 

The development comes despite the model’s ARAI-certified driving range per charge having been ascertained under test conditions, which are very different from driving in the real world. Tata Motors is yet to independently verify the particular customer’s complaint, but has expressed its disappointment with the decision. 

Volvo to go fully-electric by 2030

Swedish carmaker Volvo announced that it would only sell fully-electric cars from 2030, and in doing so becomes another major European car manufacturer (apart from VW) to permanently move away from the IC engine. In 2019, Volvo had announced that all its cars would have an electric motor (as hybrids) and by 2025, 50% of its sales would be fully electric. It has now upgraded the ambition and its Chief Technology Officer has also stated that Volvo would not invest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as it did not foresee sufficient customer demand for the technology. 

Rolls Royce completes first taxiing of superfast electric plane

Aircraft engine maker Rolls Royce successfully completed the first-ever taxiing of its “Spirit of Innovation” all-electric aircraft in the UK, setting an important milestone in the aircraft’s development. At an estimated maximum speed of 300 mph (480 kmph), the plane is touted to become the world’s fastest 100% electric aircraft when it reaches flight testing, and it’ll be powered by a 400kW electric powertrain that consists of 6,000 cells packed into a battery demonstrator pack. Meanwhile, NASA’s experimental electric aircraft, the X-57 Maxwell, is also close to being completed and it will have a range of 100 miles (160km) and a flying time of approximately 40 minutes. While the plane itself will not be commercialised, NASA hopes that the technical understanding from its flight characteristics will be used to develop commercial units for the mass market.

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