eV Story: How it will undold?

The above picture tells a story but it is incomplete if we leave it at that.

Electric Vehicles have been around for over a century and the basics of electric car are also not new. Then why so much hype now created around eV.

For that we need to analyze the pattern of growth we have witnessed over the last century.

At the time when eV was also an option, some folks were busy exploring Oil, Coal and Uranium. Once the Oil was explored and the potential seen, the politico-economic decision was to push the pedal for the fossil driven economy by the developed countries with Gulf being the hub of it.

Naturally, as man moved from horse ride to fuel driven car, it was considered a disruption for those times which was much appreciated and its direct beneficiaries were companies like FORD followed by other Auto giants.

The global population was much lesser with enough land available for oil excavation, exploration, drilling, storage, transportation via ship, rail and road. Similarly lot many Coal mines were developed in places of miniscule population that just exploded the Fossil market.

As the world grew along with the todays developed countries (USA, FRance, UK, USSR, Germany…) driven by the large engineering companies in these countries, they started exploring other under-developed and poor countries which can substitute for the enormous pollution these factories generated by moving the manufacturing to the third world countries.

Again the economic liberalization in India and other weaker countries saw the surge of fossil fired economy in these countries which needed an economic engine to grow and also generate employment (typically medium & low skill) in these countries to support their economic growth.

China was at par nearly with India in early 1970s but it overtook India despite being a communist country owing to its mega expansion plan coupled with excellent execution that led to China surpassing India, becoming a manufacturing hub for the Global Business. China wasn’t just assembling but rather also innovated their way to the latest technologies and today is almost at par with USA in terms of its economic prowess.

However now lets move back to our eV story.

Post 2010, most developed as well as developing countries started seeing the climate change occur vigorously as the global population grew to nearly 7 Billion.

A debate which was always around for ages on environmental concerns started to take center-stage now with most developed countries telling the developing countries to slow down their economic growth propelled on fossil fuels and reduce emissions.

The reality is the west has already dented the environment with pollution both inhouse as well as by moving the environmentally hazardous manufacturing to third world countries and now preaching again.

Leaving that debate aside, we are now facing a real challenge wherein if the countries like India were to reach even half of the per capita energy consumption of the west then it can extinguish our planet with the smoke and emission.

Therefore a natural push towards non renewable has been seen both in power production as well as fueling our transportation sector albeit a little late.

One of the challenges with renewable sources is in its intermittent nature, be it wind or Solar and the other challenge is with Storage inefficiency and high associated cost. The intermittent supply from renewables therefore calls for a fossil support at almost 70% with renewable at 30% cap for a stable grid.

If we have to increase to the renewable portion in the energy mix or basket then we need excellent and economical storage devices to replace the depleting fossil fuel for ensuring a stable grid.

As of now when we look at Solar Panels which is a mass dense energy, it not only required lot of other commodity like cement, steel, glass and other items which are dependent upon fossil. Similarly even for our eV charging stations, bulk of them would still be charged from the electric points fed from the electricity generated by Fossil fired plants.

Its a very unique situation wherein while we take one step forward by installing solar plant, we also take two step backward with the supporting industries for these Solar, Wind and eV.

So what could actually be a truly renewable scenario where every element in that cycle is bereft of the non renewable sources in any form.

One option could be Hydrogen that promises to revolutionize the energy world with its Fuel Cell application once it reaches a stage of safe handling, storage and transportation that seems challenging as of today due to its highly combustible nature and low energy density on volumetric basis.

We are living in a really interesting times and whether you are from Energy Industry or not, you deserve to be aware of the development take part in shaping the World Energy sector in whatever possible manner given that it becomes a common cause for each one of us as we try to save our mother Earth. There is no compromise on that.

Thanks for reading!

Look forward to feedbacks, suggestions and inputs to keep the debate moving in the right direction in the interest of all.

Amen!

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