Yes, electromobility is crucial in the battle for a sustainable climate and the reduction of CO2 emissions. However, there’s a catch.
I like looking back on my childhood memories, when the planet was in a much better condition than it is today. As a little boy, my winter plans were always sorted, since I lived near a lake that would transform itself into a magical ice rink. What is the reality like, 30 years later? The lake is still there, but its frozen version only exists in my memories. It doesn’t help to dwell on the past, though. Let’s look at the situation we’re facing today, start solving it, and protect the planet for our future generations. What’s the best way forward, and what has actually changed in the last 30 years? Has our environmental security declined? Should we be worried about the future? It might sound absurd, but even a company that produces batteries for electric vehicles can contribute to a better and healthier future. How does InoBat Auto intend to help the planet? Let’s look at its plans in detail.
WE TAKE MORE THAN NATURE IS CAPABLE OF PROVIDING US WITH
Today, we’re still witnessing the industrial revolution, as our lifestyle has increased the consumption of fossil fuels, several times over. This brings me back to my childhood, again, because it serves to illustrate the unfortunate facts and figures of our current situation. In 1986, when I was playing on the frozen lake, the so-called Earth Overshoot Day (the day when we exhaust all the resources that Earth can regenerate within a given year) fell on the 1st of November. In 2019, the same day fell on the 29th of July — the earliest date since we started this tracking, some 50 years ago. Figures show us that the increase in global resource consumption is enormous, and that today, we consume up to 1.7 times more than what the planet can provide us with. We can all agree that living in debt is not sustainable, right? Let’s open our eyes! People have been living in ecological debt for more than a decade.
ENVIRONMENTALLY-(UN)FRIENDLY BEHAVIOUR OF INDIVIDUALS, AND EU COUNTRIES
We can see stark differences in the behaviour of individual people, but also individual EU member states. What’s the reality these days? This picture, showing the carbon footprint of EU countries, says it all.
Unbelievable, right? In the last decade, Europe has consumed about three times the number of the Earth’s resources. Not only is our environmental security at stake, I also believe this exaggerated consumption manifests itself in global warming.
WHAT IS SLOVAKIA DOING FOR A GREENER FUTURE?
I would like to look at more positive news, though. In the last few years, our consumption has been decreasing, and Europe has established the so-called European Green Deal, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality across its member states by 2050. Slovakia has also endorsed this deal, and many companies should now pitch in. That’s where InoBat Auto comes in — a company that plans to produce groundbreaking electric vehicle batteries in its R&D centre in Voderady. By doing this, the company will support a more eco-friendly system of transport, with zero emissions, and it will responsibly approach battery production, which, so far, hasn’t been very environmentally friendly. Times are changing and InoBat is leading the way.
YES, ELECTROMOBILITY CAN HELP. BUT THERE’S A CATCH
E-mobility is crucial in the fight for a sustainable climate and the reduction of CO2 emissions. However, there’s a catch. Several conditions must be met before this sector gets the chance to help save our planet. What are these conditions, and what must be changed?
- The energy for electric vehicles must come from sources that don’t emit CO₂ into the air.
- The manufacturing process of the batteries must, as much as possible, minimise CO₂ emissions, while also increasing the capacity, lifespan and efficiency of the batteries.
- The manufacturer must also consider the subsequent replacement and recycling of older batteries.
InoBat is proof that this can be done. It’s been confirmed by an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) study, which has granted us the approval to build our R&D centre in Voderady. Here, in the production of our batteries, we’ll focus on minimising the global carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy consumption.
FIGURES THAT WILL MAKE YOUR JAW DROP
Looking at the world of e-mobility from a realistic perspective, we encounter some uncomfortable statistics. For example, the mid-range Tesla 3 has a lithium cobalt manganese battery, which needs to be produced with a high energy input, and pollutes the air with 11 to 15 tonnes of CO₂. With a 10-year battery life and 15 000 km annual mileage, this would mean around 13-98 grams of CO₂/km, while the vehicle would be more or less just standing in the garage. When we add the CO₂ emissions from electricity produced by other than nuclear or renewable sources, the Tesla actually emits 156 to 181 grams of CO₂/km. Another example is the Škoda Octavia Elegance 1.9 TDI PD with emissions of 135 g CO₂/km, or the Toyota Land Cruiser V8 4,6 I, which is popular with the Emiratis, and emits 250 to 308 g CO₂/km.
E-mobility needs to walk hand in hand with environmental and energy security. To make sure that this happens, electricity production from nuclear or renewable sources must be promoted. To get a better idea, let me bring up some more figures. In 2018, the EU’s energy mix consisted of 5 main sources: oil products (36%), natural gas (21%), solid fossil fuels (15%), renewables (15%) and nuclear energy (13%).
THE FUTURE OF ELECTROMOBILITY IN INOBAT AUTO? HERE’S SOME BEHIND-THE-SCENES INFORMATION
Perhaps the most important aspect of environmental and energy security is the aforementioned battery manufacturing. In InoBat Auto, we invested in an innovative process, state-of-the-art technology, research, development, and cooperation with leading experts. We will tailor our batteries to our clients’ needs. And let me mention the recycling too. Lithium and cobalt reserves are limited, thus, it’s important to recover and reuse as much of these metals as possible. In InoBat Auto, we can recycle and reuse almost 95% of our materials. When it comes to the recycling of li-ion battery products, we’re currently in the project design phase. I believe that we’ll soon publically announce that we’re ready to build a recycling centre, and this will help us achieve the circle of sustainability, and reach the goal of creating a battery manufacturing process for a greener world.
I’m certain that innovation and talented people (many of whom work in InoBat Auto) can help our company become a leader in battery manufacturing. A leader that will inspire. We should all start by examining our own habits. We can all change our attitude towards the environment, or unnecessary consumption. If we can change ourselves, we can change the future of our children. I’m still an optimist, and believe that, if we lead by example and start looking for solutions, we’ll get to create a better future. I’m honoured to contribute to this goal by working for InoBat Auto, which provides solutions for a greener tomorrow and a healthier planet.
HSE manager, InoBat Auto