Driving into a wall—an automotive gold rush or a gold rash.

Not long ago, the automotive industry estimated that investment in electric cars would reach $600 billion until 2030. Yet now we can see that this number is doubling to a whopping $1.2 trillion. This will include an estimated 50 million new electric vehicles, as well as the batteries and raw materials needed to support their production.

Tesla is leading the pack with a promise of 20 million new electric vehicles, while Volkswagen has ambitions to build its electric car portfolio. Toyota has announced a $100 billion investment in new vehicles. Ford, Mercedes, BMW, and others are not far behind.

This new race present few questions. Until not long ago, companies such as Volvo refused to even benchmark Tesla as an automotive company. It’s interesting to think about the fact that Volvo already had a concept electric car in the late 80s. Today, Polestar is edging itself closer to being a Tesla 3 competitor, something that has put the idea of a premium brand into question. Volvo and Polestar are not alone; the entire industry is in marketing, communication, and positioning disarray.

The mixing of message techniques, confusing narratives, and false information about the benefits and impact of electrification are creating a scenario that could be one of the biggest pitfalls for an industry in the coming days.

It appears that the $1.2 trillion (almost high as google’s $1.3 trillion value) is base on fashion more than anything else.

I don’t deny that the goals look good on paper. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world without pollution, where everything is powered by a silent, electric engine? Where we can use our mobile devices to control our cars, similarly to how we would use a computer. But the Net Zero targets can’t hold water—in theory, we have enough global reserves of nickel and lithium to make enough batteries for electric cars—but only if we use these materials for batteries for electric cars. Cobalt is an entirely different question. That we absolutely do not have enough of. What would we do in a future where we harvested all the natural materials needed for electric vehicles? And that is just one of the issues with electric cars.

Another problem with electric cars is that they aren’t really an environmentally friendly choice. From the energy that we need to produce to power the vehicles to the process of production of the materials needed to build them and the batteries. The total energy cost is far higher than the energy cost of an old-fashioned combustion engine. Furthermore, considering the energy required for logistics behind it all and the relative short lifespan of a battery, and the total environmental cost of the electric vehicle industry is much higher than what we are told.

I have no doubt that in the future, new technologies will enable us to approach the level of perfection we achieve when we write on paper, like with the Green Deal. However, they will require a more holistic view of the challenges. Before we run blind into a wall, we must ask and tackle questions such as those related to infrastructure, how we harvest and process materials, and how we look at production logistics. We must also ask questions related to technologies such as nuclear power gen IV.

In the animal kingdom, it is known as natural evolution. A 96-year-old ‘national treasure’ has preached that we must pay any price to satisfy the new cult of the green god. More rational and cost-effective views are available.

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