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When the Solution Causes More Problems

The world is not as black and white as we might all want to think. It is mostly grey but only a few of us have the means to face the fact that it is grey. While the rest of humanity gets to enjoy the privilege of being able to stay ignorant of the grey, world leaders have to deal with the grey. One such issue is the matter of pollution from cars.

The world is currently in a frenzy about electric cars. They are the newest trend in automobile production. In case you did not know there are more than 2 million electric cars on the streets of the world right now with features such as online pokies screens. And it is expected that there will be more than 140 million such cars by the year 2030. This is according to the International Energy Agency which is basing its estimates on the Paris Climate agreement targets.

The Problem

Electric cars carry very large lithium-ion batteries. After the life cycle of these batteries, they will need to be disposed of. This comes to several million tons of batteries based on the fact that each of these cars has a half ton battery. The potential environmental damage from the improper disposal of these energy banks is therefore enormous.

The batteries are made of lithium and cobalt. These are very volatile elements that can easily escape into the atmosphere. Once in the air, these gases become very toxic. Not to mention the potential water pollution from the mining of these elements. Then there is the issue that these elements are finite. This means that there will run out at some point.

The Solution

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There are initiatives already recycling the lithium-ion batteries. Although the technology is not yet efficient is works well. It reclaims the bulk of the elements. In the future, most probably, car manufacturers will be made to pay for the cost of collecting and recycling the batteries.

( images provided courtesy of ecolodriver.com lithiumion-batteries.com )

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