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Battery power: Five innovations for greener electric vehicles

EVs are seen as key in transition to low-carbon economy here are five innovations making them greener.


EVs are seen as key in transition to low-carbon economy, but as their human and environmental costs become clearer, can new tech help?

While the journey to a low-carbon economy is well under way, the best route to get there remains up for debate. But, amid the slew of “pathways” and “roadmaps”, one broad consensus exists: “clean” technology will play a vital role.

Nowhere is this truer than for transport. To cut vehicle emissions, an alternative to the combustion engine is required.

While green hydrogen is developing at pace, much of the early progress is in the electric vehicle (EV) space. Despite an overall flatlining in new car purchases, recent monthly figures show a 50% leap in year-on-year sales for EVs.


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Yet, “clean” is a relative term. EVs do not have exhausts pumping out emissions, but the raw materials that go into them have just as much embedded carbon, if not more, as their combustion equivalents. As a recent Guardian investigation shows, the human rights and environmental costs of the green transport revolution are still not being fully considered in the race towards electric vehicles.

The batteries that EVs use are a big part of this problem and can push the weight of the car up to nearly 3,000kg. They contain rare metals – many sourced from the poorest and most ecologically sensitive places on the planet.

Yet, eco-innovations are afoot. Here, we look at five early-stage efforts to improve the green credentials of EV batteries at different stages of their life.

Connected Energy has been chosen as one of the five innovative technologies.

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