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Bloomberg: The Electric Car Revolution Is Here to Stay
Within six years, the cost of owning an electric car will be cheaper than purchasing and running a petrol or diesel model. That’s the conclusion of a report on the fast-expanding electric car market by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The report says that even if petrol or diesel driven cars improve their fuel efficiency over the coming years, the cost of owning an electric car—buying it and running it—will be below that of conventional vehicles by 2022.
The increased sale of electrically-powered cars is seen as an important element in the fight against climate change. CO2 emissions from vehicles fueled by petrol and diesel cause a build-up of greenhouse gases and, especially in cities, pollution from exhausts causes serious damage to health.
Bloomberg says electric vehicle (EV) sales worldwide reached just under half a million in 2015—a 60 percent rise on the previous year. Although electric-powered cars make up only one percent of the global vehicle total at present, it is predicted that worldwide EV sales will be more than 40 million by 2040, making up approximately 35 percent of all light duty vehicle sales.
The report’s authors say developments in battery technology are one of the key factors driving the downward trend in prices in the electric car market.
“At the core of this forecast is the work we have done on EV battery prices,” said Colin McKerracher, a Bloomberg analyst.
“Lithium-ion battery costs have already fallen by 65 percent since 2010, reaching $350 per kilowatt hour (kWh) last year. We expect EV battery costs to be well below $120 per kWh by 2030 and to fall further after that as new chemistries come in,” added McKerracher.
To date, two types of electric car have been produced for the mass market: a battery electric vehicle (BEV) is solely dependent on batteries for power, while a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) uses a combination of rechargeable batteries and a conventional engine as back-up.
Recent improvements in battery technology mean that a BEV can travel up to 200 miles without recharging.
Electric vehicle manufacturers say that as more sales are achieved, manufacturing costs will drop as economies of scale are achieved.
Various electric-powered sports models manufactured in the U.S. and Europe have tended to grab the headlines recently, but the main sales growth in future is likely to take place in China.
At present, the U.S. continues to be the world’s biggest EV market, although it is Japan’s Nissan Leaf that heads electric car sales.
The government in China, faced with tackling serious pollution problems in many cities, is giving big subsidies to the country’s electric car manufacturers.
Incentives to Buyers
It is also offering incentives to buyers, in terms of lower insurance premiums and road taxes, discounted charging facilities and access to urban road networks when other vehicles are banned due to high pollution levels.
Xindayang, a Chinese manufacturer, is marketing electric vehicles in China at a cost of $10,000—much cheaper than EVs elsewhere.
Chinese EV manufacturers have global ambitions. Faraday Future, a China-backed EV maker, recently announced plans to invest more than a billion dollars in a manufacturing plant in the U.S.
China is also investing heavily in the necessary infrastructure for EVs. The State Council—the main law-making body in China—announced last year that facilities would be developed to handle up to five million plug-in vehicles by 2020.
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By Tracy L. Barnett
Sources reviewed this article for accuracy.
For Sicangu Lakota water protector Cheryl Angel, Standing Rock helped her define what she stands against: an economy rooted in extraction of resources and exploitation of people and planet. It wasn't until she'd had some distance that the vision of what she stands for came into focus.
Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.
The rallying cry to build it again and to build it better than before is inspiring after a natural disaster, but it may not be the best course of action, according to new research published in the journal Science.
"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.
The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.
"We propose a reconceptualization of retreat as a suite of adaptation options that are both strategic and managed," the paper states. "Strategy integrates retreat into long-term development goals and identifies why retreat should occur and, in doing so, influences where and when."
The billions of dollars spent to rebuild the Jersey Shore and to create dunes to protect from future storms after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 may be a waste if sea level rise inundates the entire coastline.
"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."
Rethinking retreat could make it a strategic, efficient, and equitable way to adapt to the climate crisis, the study says.
Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.
That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.
Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.
If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.
"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."
To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.
"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."
Leaked documents show that Jair Bolsonaro's government intends to use the Brazilian president's hate speech to isolate minorities living in the Amazon region. The PowerPoint slides, which democraciaAbierta has seen, also reveal plans to implement predatory projects that could have a devastating environmental impact.