The electric car is an endless revolution despite the obstacles

It’s been ten years since Tesla began delivering the first units of the Model S, the world’s first electric luxury sedan. Since then, the The automotive sector is going through a revolution that is leaving combustion engines in limbo.

An unstoppable revolution although it still faces many obstacles.

There’s still a long way to go until All cars sold give up petrol or diesel as fuel In favor of alternatives that contribute less to the climate crisis, such as electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.

But many things have already changed in this sector.

According to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), last year Global sales of electric vehicles reached 6.6 million units, About double what it was in 2020, and an increase of 5,500% over 2012, when about 120,000 were sold.

Because when the Model S hit the market, manufacturers like General Motors (GM), Ford, Toyota and Nissan were already selling electric or hybrid cars.

At the start of 2022, the International Energy Agency estimated there were about 16.5 million electrified vehicles (electric and hybrid) worldwide, three times as many as in 2018.

China is the leading country in the number of electrified vehicles in circulation. Just last year, 3.3 million units were sold in the Asian giant, which is 50% of the world total. In Europe, the sales figure was $2.3 million. The remaining million correspond almost exclusively to the United States.

It also dominates the production of electric vehicles so far China and Europe, while the United States is the third country.

But these numbers still represent a small part of the total car sales in the world, which in 2021 amounted to 66.7 million cars, after declining in 2020 to 63.8 million due to the effects of the epidemic. In 2019, global sales of all types of cars amounted to 74.9 million units.

In other words, sales of electrified cars last year accounted for about 10% of the total.

But after ten years of putting Tesla on the streets The United States first units of the model Yes, the world’s automakers have assumed that the future is electric and have plans to completely abandon combustion car assembly in the coming years.

General Motors (GM), the largest automaker in the United States, which owns the Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands, has committed to stop selling combustion vehicles by 2035.

To do this, the manufacturer has allocated 35,000 million investment during the period 2020-2025 to the development and production of electric cars and self-driving vehicles.

“Climate change is real and we want to be part of the solution by putting everyone in an electric vehicle,” General Motors President and CEO Mary Barra said in July 2021.

Ford, Stellantis, Volkswagen, Nissan, Toyota, and other manufacturers have similar plans.

Now that Tesla has turned electric cars into a product of desire and social status, which Accelerates the level of acceptance of these cars among the general public, The biggest problem manufacturers face in selling electric cars is the solution to mass production.

The battery is the most important component of an electric vehicle. The batteries most commonly used by manufacturers to date are lithium-ion batteries, which are about the same as batteries used in electronic devices such as cell phones or laptops.

In addition to lithium ion There are nickel-metal hydride batteries, lead acid batteries, and supercapacitors.

But producing enough batteries to equip the tens of millions of vehicles that must be built each year to replace combustion vehicles is a logistical problem that companies have yet to solve.

In the past two years, all auto manufacturers have been quick to sign agreements with mining companies that mine Cobalt and lithium, the two main components of batteries, And with other companies to ensure the supply of the necessary materials.

Availability of batteries is not the only obstacle to the rapid mass production of electric vehicles. The infrastructure for fast battery chargers is still insufficient, and of course it cannot be compared with the networks of gas stations located all over the world.

Finally, another obstacle to the widespread use of electric vehicles is public acceptance, which still needs to be better understood How do they work and what advantages do they provide, other than Fuel purchase savings.

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