Thursday, November 30, 2023

The saga of electric vehicles: Electrocution of livelihood and cycling!


Electric vehicles are grabbing all the attention in the world of automobiles. But, what are the upsides and downsides of the growing focus on electric vehicles?

As per the projections, Electric Vehicles are going to be a whopping 80% of the new vehicles produced by 2035. With the Fossil Fuel vehicles already getting replaced incrementally, it means in just about 15-20 years; there would hardly be any or insignificant number of fossil fuel vehicles running on the roads.

It is also noteworthy that the number of parts in an electric vehicle is about 1/10th of a Fossil Fuel vehicle.

Now, just have a look at some human data.

The population of Gulf Cooperation Countries or GCC is about 58 million

The oil business in the US alone employs about 11 million people.

Oil businesses in other countries, including oil-rich regions such as Latin America, should be employed – at conservative estimates – another million.

Petrol Bunks worldwide would easily have at least about 2 million employees.

The Oil & Gas workforce in China alone is about 86 million!

The USD 56 billion Indian Auto Components industry employs about 2 million people. The entire world put together, it won’t be off the mark to say that there would easily be about 4 million working, directly or indirectly, in the Auto components industry. Worldwide, given Auto Components industry is big in Japan, Korea, China and Europe, such a number of employees could easily be another 6 million.

The total number of employees, as above sans the GCC population, is, thus, about 110 million. If we were to look at the family size at a conservative 3 per family, we are talking about 330 million people! Plus, the population of GCC, which is largely dependent upon the fossil fuel industry.

So, per rough estimates, we are talking about 388 million people. Just to contextualise the quantum, this number is way above the population of the USA!

Unfortunately, particularly with social media’s ability to drum up sentiments, we humans tend to swing blindly and all at once. We went mad about Cars. We went about Roads & Buildings. We went mad about City life. We went mad about the luxuries of life. We went mad about sex & pro-creation. We went mad about material success. Now, we are going mad…sorry; my automobile industry might excommunicate me…crazy about Electric Vehicles.

There is this valid argument about the climate crises and how, let alone the 388 million people, no one on this Earth would be alive. But, there is something called pragmatism and equilibrium. The response to climate crises shouldn’t be a reaction; it should be a response. Let alone 388 million, even a million losing their livelihood is painfully big.

Apart from Industry after Industry getting wiped off from the face of the Earth and millions losing their livelihood, the concerns around real Green Power for these EVs; of ecological damage due to Mining; of environmental damage due to highly toxic EV batteries and so on, are largely brushed under the carpet.

If we really are so concerned about the Earth and about clean & healthy mobility, we should be mad about arresting the mad Urbanisation and making a living in rural areas as comfortable. We should be promoting cycling as madly or maybe even more madly.

Am not against Electric Vehicles. But Humans shouldn’t be running like horses with blinders! We need to look around and notice what all and who all we are literally leaving behind.



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