What will the price of the electric car be in 2035?

To achieve CO2 neutrality by 2050, the European Commission and EU member states are developing the idea that the solution will come mainly from cars equipped with an electric motor. In order to speed up the transition, it is planned that the sale of new vehicles equipped with a thermal engine will be banned in Europe by 27 from 2035. In the meantime, we especially fear power cuts in the coming months since the reduction in gas imports from Russia also reduces the production of ​​controllable electricity that this fossil energy allowed in several EU member states. As a result, Germany and other countries are increasingly using coal, while a strategy of massive shale gas imports from the US is being put in place.

Since it is necessary to make willow from any wood, the Agency for the Environment and Control of Energy (ADEME) encourages the French who know how to heat with wood. Suddenly, the demand for firewood consisting of logs and pellets could increase to 2.4 million tons for the winter of 2022-2023 against 1.8 million tons the winter before. Since June, the average price of firewood has increased by 20% and this is probably only the beginning. See the remarks in the Figaro on 25 September by the timber merchant Gérard Fellous: “My producer informed me that many newcomers had arrived, who smelled the golden goose. At wood auctions, they always buy at the highest price and distort the market”.

The race for innovation will stimulate speculation

What happens to wood is also going to happen on a larger scale and in a more sustainable way with the sprint that companies in the automotive industry have already embarked on to get the raw materials to produce these cars equipped with an electric motor and their batteries. In Les Échos of September 25, Anne Feitz states that “Volkswagen and Mercedes signed agreements with Canada at the end of August to guarantee their supply of critical minerals from local producers (…) A few weeks earlier, Stellantis had put a ticket of 50 million euros for 8% of the company’s capital. Australian start-up Vulcan, which wants to produce lithium in Europe from geothermal resources”. The article also cited Renault, which announced in June “a contract with the Moroccan mining group Managem for the supply of 5,000 tons of cobalt per year from 2025 for seven years”.

In the same newspaper, Étienne Goetz wrote that “According to the calculations of the French group Eramet, producer of nickel and soon of lithium, the demand for nickel in 2030 will have multiplied by 2 to 4.8 million tons and by 6 to 2 million tons for lithium. For cobalt will increase from 130,000 tons to 500,000 tons (…) Between 2020 and 2050, the world will consume between 60% and 90% of copper resources. For nickel it is about 60%, 80% for cobalt, 30% for lithium…”.

When the price of charging increases by 50% in 6 weeks

It is easy to imagine that this increase in demand for rare metals will cause prices to rise. The electric car thing will be out of reach for people who need a car to get to work. Especially since France is hardly concerned with promoting public transport. We can also wonder how the price of the electricity needed to recharge millions of batteries every day will develop, beyond the current consumption of households and businesses. What’s more, in this edition of Echoes we’ve also learned that the Allego fast-charging network has increased its prices by 50% in less than six weeks, while Telsa’s currently costs 40% more than in July if you’re without a subscription. and don’t own a Telsa.

Beyond Europe, the race to produce cars equipped with an electric motor is global. Initially, the exploitation of the fossil raw materials that are essential for their production will increase CO2 emissions. In another step, we will still be burning a lot of fossil fuels, including coal, in the world to produce enough electricity to power the engines in these cars. Especially since they will be in competition with other uses, including digital, which also sees its electricity consumption increase year after year.

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