April 03, 2019

Sustainability and electric driving

Recently I had the chance to visit two events that were organised by the EV (Electric Vehicle) community: rEVolution in Amsterdam (organised by EVBox) and the Nordic EV summit in Oslo (hosted by the Norwegian EV association). Even though both events were initiated by the EV community, I was happily surprised to find that both events took a look at sustainability in a much broader respect than just electric driving.

Sustainability tomorrow and today

We have to take care of our planet, most of us are aware of that. CO2 emissions caused by transportation contribute greatly to the global warming challenge. By replacing internal combustion engine vehicles by electric vehicles, we can decrease emissions in transportation, which reduces the speed of the earth warming up, however the emissions caused by cars form just a small portion of our environmental impact.

As Babette Porcelijn, author of The Hidden Impact, explained at rEVolution, there is a lot of hidden impact on the environment that we often forget about. To completely rule out all impact of the transportation sector, we need to consider the emissions caused during production of vehicles as well. Next to that, there is more impact on the environment than just CO2 emission. There is usage and pollution of water, depletion of resources and deforestation to take into consideration for example.

Earth would be fine without us and would probably grow back its forests and clean up the sea by natural processes

But why do we worry about our impact on the earth? At the Nordic summit, secretary general of Amnesty International, Kumi Naidoo, emphasised that we worry about this, not because of the planet, but because humankind will go extinct with too much temperature rise or without clean water. He even went as far as to say earth would be fine without us and would probably grow back its forests and clean up the sea by natural processes if the influence of human kind would no longer be present. The point of a greener approach is to make a better life possible for us humans in the future. Many batteries are made with minerals like cobalt that are sourced from artisanal mines, where people in for example the Democratic Republic of the Congo work in terrible conditions. How can we feel good about exploiting people today in order to offer a better way of living to future generations? Amnesty international is fighting for human rights today, not only in the future. They therefor encourage discussion on ethical ways to increase the production and use of EV's.

Let's work on a better life for both today's and tomorrow's citizens of the world

Let's work on a better life for both today's and tomorrow's citizens of the world by not just trying to minimise the temperature rise to 1.5 degree, as agreed on in the Paris accord, but by also doing this in a way that cares about human rights today.

The contribution of electric driving

At VanBerlo, we are very happy to contribute to a greener future by means of our work for EVBox, developing EV charging solutions. Even though electric transportation is just a small part of the solution, it is important that we explore this opportunity to the max and get many people motivated to be part of it.

For the EV community this means two things; make electric transportation possible on a large scale and make it as easy and comfortable as possible for everybody to be part of it.

To reduce uncertainty for EVdrivers, reliability should be improved and range anxiety (the fear that a vehicle has insufficient range to reach its destination) reduced. Increased availability of charging stations with good support systems can easily solve this problem. This challenge demands great cooperation between all stakeholders involved: the automotive branch, EV charger manufacturers and electricity providers, to name a few. At VanBerlo we are comfortable to work with multi stakeholder problems and eager to take on this challenge!

VanBerlo is working together with EVBox on smart solutions to make the use of the chargers as easy and intuitive as possible to lower the threshold for unexperienced EV drivers to give it a try.

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