The Paris Climate Agreement seeks to reduce global carbon emissions. The nearly 200 countries who signed it have pledged to reduce their own emissions within their borders. And therein lies the rub: the agreement says nothing about the impact their products have across the world. For some countries, the problem is not so much the emissions they produce; it is those they export.
The battery industry is currently dominated by lithium-ion batteries. We have them in our phones and computers. They power electric cars. And they are increasingly being used to store energy generated by solar panels and other renewable energy sources.
The transition to sustainable energy sources faces many challenges. One important one is to make those sources as reliable as conventional energy systems. For technologies like solar and wind power, which can’t operate around the clock, an enabling element is effective energy storage. Energy storage is critical for both the electricity grid and for transportation.
With the arrival of the Chevy Bolt and the long waiting list for the forthcoming Tesla 3, there is starting to be some momentum for electric cars in the United States. But we are still well behind Europe in terms of the significant growth of so-called e-mobility.
Electric cars are generally seen as the way to eliminate or at least dramatically reduce the disastrous effects of personal transportation on the environment. They still constitute only a tiny fraction of the cars on the road, but their popularity and availability is growing.
Pretty much every discussion of electric cars, plug-in hybrids and ordinary hybrids starts and ends up with the question of whether they are worth the money. If the reason for buying such a vehicle is strictly economic, then this is the right question to ask. But the naysayers who say such a purchase is foolish may be barking up the wrong tree.
Electric cars are gradually becoming more popular, but there are still real concerns about their driving range, the availability of charging infrastructure, and their price. Adoption of the technology is still rather slow.
Five years ago, the Obama Administration announced that the Corporate Average Fuel Economy or CAFE standard for the year 2025 would be 54.5 miles-per-gallon. They estimated that improving the average fuel economy of cars and light-duty trucks to this level would save car owners $1.7 trillion at the pump and eliminate more than 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The introduction of the Tesla 3 and the 400,000 advanced orders for the vehicle have put the spotlight on electric cars recently. But despite all the buzz, electric cars are sill only a tiny piece of the US car market: about 0.66 percent last year.
France’s roadways are known both for their historic cobblestone streets and infamous traffic jams. But French officials recently decided to forgo the traditional brick and pavement in order to capitalize on all the vehicle traffic.