06 Dec Topic: Ethical issues raised by recent innovations and how to address these.? Focus on electric vehicles and many countries planning to eliminate oil use and go fully electric
Ethical issues raised by recent innovations and how to address these.
Focus on electric vehicles and many countries planning to eliminate oil use and go fully electric in the near future.
Write two pages on how ethical/ sustainability issues can be addressed and two pages on how we can move forward with innovation, for a total of 4 pages (double spaced).
I have included and example of how the questions should be answered and to give you an idea.
Sub topic 7: How ethical/ sustainability issues can be addressed
While electric cars are on the rise, so are their flaws. Electric cars are powered with lithium-ion batteries (the same type of batteries found in your phone and essentially any other battery powered electronics). The issue that arises from these batteries is the flames that they produce when punctured or destroyed. Tesla electric cars are most well known for having this issue (since they are also the most popular electric car) and as of the writing of the article from Heartland.org, there were 85 reported battery fires (Stein, 2022) (using the link to their source, it is currently 136 as of writing this report). While getting a potential free cremation with your purchase of an EV may be alluring to some, most people do not wish to be toasted alive in their car in the event they get into an accident.
Also, a lot of mining goes into the production of one EV’s battery. As Stein mentions in his article, “For instance, to manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just one battery.” To be sustainable, a lot of damage needs to be done to the planet. Sounds like a catch 22 if I have ever heard of one.
Sub topic 8: Moving forward with innovation
Just because EVs are having some issues, this does not overshadow the milestones that are coming from the research and development of the industry. One such milestone that can be recorded in electric vehicle development is the Smart EV Charging software technology that is usually implemented in current EVs. This technology uses software to analyze the battery level of the car, the power demands of the local electric grid, and any other networked chargers, and can be used to minimize the load on the grid while providing the lowest cost to charge for the owner of the vehicle (Team, 2022). Using this technology, this takes our previously projected cost of $10- $30 to charge an electric car to a more cost effective $5 to $15 for a full charge.
Sometimes, the government needs to get involved for the greater good of the people. While the infrastructure is struggling to form, Tesla (a private company) is the market leader in charging infrastructure compared to the alliance of traditional vehicle manufacturers that have developed level 1 and level 2 charging. To help disperse this market advantage and streamline the infrastructure production, the White House released a statement in June informing that Tesla is developing supercharging equipment that non-tesla drivers can use on their EVs (Verma, 2022). While this can be seen as the government overstepping their role in a free market, the positive of this action is that the electric car infrastructure will be more unified then it’s current Tesla infrastructure vs general car manufacturer charging infrastructure.
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