News By/Courtesy: Sneha Suresh | 26 Jul 2020 11:54am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tesla a world renowned brand and their climate change battle
  • Lithium-ion batteries, the downfall of climate change?
  • Is Tesla doing more harm or good?

Tesla and Climate Change

 

Tesla is one of the leading companies in the world that is leading the charge to combat climate change with its core products- their fleet of cars and their suite of clean technologies.

Tesla is one of the world's most pioneering and impactful companies tackling climate change. Tesla's management has prioritized climate change as the focus of the company and has capitalized on the public interest in the climate change movement as well. As a result, Tesla has performed exceedingly well and has become one of the most recognizable brands worldwide. Its stock price increased tenfold in the last 5 years.

 

Tesla's original mission statement was to "accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible". Tesla started with the Roadster in 2008, priced at a very unrealistic and unattainable $100,000 but the brand expanded into more models which included Model X, Model 3, and Model S which were much more affordable and bolstered their sales as well. Tesla's focus on environmental sustainability, safety, and innovation made its electric cars hugely popular.

Lithium-ion batteries are an imperative part of Tesla's product portfolio, extensively used to power Tesla's electric cars. While Tesla itself is concentrated on addressing climate change with its core products, the environmental impact of its lithium-ion batteries should be closely examined and mitigated.

Much of the world's lithium is extracted from brines beneath the deserts of South America and evaporated using the sun's energy. However, as demand has grown, due in large part to Tesla, more and more lithium is mined in Australia by crushing rock and is then sent to China for processing in a more energy-intensive cycle.

Mining is a notoriously energy-intensive industry and many mines are powered using dirty electricity such as coal.

 

Tesla is leading the way in terms of introducing new clean transportation and clean energy products to the market. That being said, lithium-ion batteries are a key ingredient in the Tesla Cars and currently are causing significant environmental harm as well. Tesla should be considered when the first wave of lithium-ion batteries reaches end-of-life. Tesla could also work to provide renewable energy at lithium mines, perhaps by installing its solar panels to reduce the carbon footprint of extracting lithium in the first place.

Even though their intentions seem to be pure and it's not easy to argue against their mission and positive alignment with reducing climate change, one can't help but wonder is Tesla tackling the climate change problem or being opportunistic and making big bucks at the expense of a global crisis?

This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion etcetera. This article is based purely on the author's personal opinion and views in the exercise of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(A) and other related laws being enforced in India for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 26 Jul 2020 17:46pm IST


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