Categories: Environment

Why do we urgently need to reduce the size of electric cars?

In a recent study, the NGO WWF has raised concerns about the potential negative impacts of the unchecked growth of electric cars in France.

The organization warns that while the ecological transition is dependent on electric vehicles, their increasing size, particularly that of SUVs, now accounting for 41% of electric car sales, poses a threat.

Increased Size Contributes to Resource Depletion

An electric SUV requires up to three times more copper and aluminum, and up to five times more lithium, nickel, and cobalt than a small electric city car. These metals are considered “critical” due to their essential role in the energy transition and limited availability.

According to Jean Burkard, the director of advocacy at WWF France, the increased demand for rare metals could potentially increase by 30 times over the next 20 years, posing geostrategic risks for France.

The WWF study explores three possible scenarios, highlighting the need for proactive policies to reduce the size of vehicles to mitigate the impact on the demand for critical metals.

Potential Solutions

WWF suggests that the government urgently introduce a specific weight penalty for electric vehicles, by reserving the ecological bonus for electric cars weighing less than 1.6 tonnes, as opposed to the current 2.4 tonnes. The NGO also proposes to impose on manufacturers the annual publication of the average weight of registered electric cars, while suggesting a European penalty of five euros per kilo beyond the threshold of 1.6 tonnes.

Furthermore, adopting policies to reduce vehicle size could decrease demand by 25% below the economic weight, potentially allowing for the export of metals such as lithium, which could benefit the French trade balance.

Read also :
Chinese electric cars: the radical method found by Europe to prevent the “invasion”
Europe wants to put obstacles in the way of Chinese electric cars
According to Volkswagen, China is “two to three years ahead” in terms of electric cars

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