Are Electric Vehicles a Remedy for the Environment? A New Problem?

Is electric vehicles a new problem for the environment?
Is electric vehicles a new problem for the environment?

We started to experience the effects of Global Warming with increasing natural disasters. States and supra-state institutions have set targets to reduce and ultimately zero carbon emissions, the root cause of Global Warming. Finally, the 2050 'zero emission' target announced by the European Union predicts that diesel and gasoline fuels cannot be used in transportation. So what will be the future of internal combustion engines? Are electric vehicles the only solution as advertised? Kadir Örücü, the Turkey CEO of the world's largest alternative fuel systems giant BRC, listed the problems of electric vehicles and alternative options for them.

Flood disasters in the Northern Hemisphere, where we live in summer, drought and forest fires due to seasonal temperatures far above normal, are seen as environmental disasters triggered by Global Warming.

States and supra-state institutions, which take steps to reduce the carbon emission values ​​that trigger Global Warming, are introducing new restrictions to reduce emission values ​​in many areas from transportation to energy production. While it is possible to switch to renewable sources in energy production to a large extent, alternatives to reduce emissions in transportation are insufficient. Kadir Örücü, Turkey's CEO of BRC, the world's largest manufacturer of alternative fuel systems, listed the future of internal combustion engine technologies and alternatives to electric vehicles.


Emphasizing that carbon emission values ​​should be reduced urgently, Kadir Örücü said, “Global Warming is the source of the natural disasters we experience today. The only solution to stopping Global Warming to a certain extent is to reduce carbon emissions. The new carbon emission targets led by the European Union, England and Japan are important steps for reducing carbon emissions and regressing Global Warming. How to do this, however, is a matter of considerable debate. Even though the 'Green Plan' put forward by the UK reveals rational solutions in energy production, problems such as which solutions will be put forward in transportation and how the internal combustion engine technologies will be abandoned are still valid.


Questioning the battery technologies of electric vehicles, BRC Turkey CEO Kadir Örücü said, “The lithium batteries we use in our mobile phones and laptops are also used in electric vehicles. While recycling is possible in other battery technologies, recycling takes place around 5 percent in lithium-ion batteries. Paul Anderson, the leader of the team working on battery technologies for electric vehicles at the University of Birmingham, recently told the British media outlet BBC that lithium batteries are highly toxic and therefore recycling takes place at great costs. Used lithium batteries of our electronic devices, which are relatively small and have a very high recycling cost, are sent to African countries as garbage. Lithium batteries used by electric vehicles are much heavier. If you think that an average electric vehicle contains 70 kilos of lithium and these batteries have a lifespan of 2-3 years, you can realize the danger that electric vehicles pose for nature.


Stating that automotive manufacturers around the world spend a significant amount of investment on R&D for battery technologies and recycling of lithium batteries, Örücü said, “Nissan has serious research on the transformation of lithium batteries. European manufacturers such as Renault and Volkswagen are focusing on new battery technologies that can replace lithium batteries. There is a big race for batteries that can charge quickly, be lighter and cover longer range. However, the result is not yet seen," he said.


Stating that the European Union member countries have started infrastructure works for electric vehicles and that the EU has distributed incentives in this regard, Kadir Örücü said, “Infrastructure works have started for electric vehicles to be charged in European Union countries. However, the number of countries that will establish such an expensive and nationwide complex infrastructure in the rest of the world is unfortunately very few. It remains doubtful how electric vehicles will become widespread in developing and underdeveloped countries that lag behind technology. Looking at current trends, we predict that automotive manufacturers will produce separate vehicles for developed countries and separate vehicles for other countries. This will only reduce the carbon emission levels in developed countries, and polluting fuels will continue to be used in countries where the majority of the world's population lives.


Reminding that biological fuels are developing gradually and methane gas has been obtained from wastes for many years, Kadir Örücü said, “BioLPG, which is obtained through a process similar to biodiesel fuel, can be the fuel of the future. While vegetable-based oils such as waste palm oil, corn oil, and soybean oil can be used in its production, BioLPG, which is seen as biological waste, is also used as waste fish and animal oils, and by-products that turn into waste in food production, is currently in the UK, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the USA produced and put into use. The fact that it is produced from waste and its production costs are low makes BioLPG meaningful.”


Emphasizing that battery technology is expected for electric vehicles and that internal combustion engines cannot be abandoned all at once, Kadir Örücü said, “It is of great importance for electric vehicles to find more environmentally friendly battery technologies that will enable them to travel longer distances. On the other hand, it is not possible to say 'goodbye' to internal combustion engines all of a sudden. When we add the weak infrastructure in developing countries and the fact that electric vehicles are expensive until a cheap technology is developed, LPG will be the most rational option. As we take measures to stop the effects of Global Warming, LPG will continue to exist until vehicles with internal combustion engines disappear.”

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