The Path to Drawdown: Electric Vehicles
The first electric vehicle (EV) prototype was built in 1828, but being unable to surmount the challenge of building a lightweight, durable battery with adequate range meant that internal combustion engines have dominated the automotive and transport landscape since the 1920s.
Today that landscape is changing. Thanks to supportive policies and falling costs, more than 1 million EVs now criss-cross the roads. The difference in impact on the climate is remarkable. Compared to petroleum-based vehicles, CO2 emissions drop by 50% if an EV’s power comes off the conventional grid. If powered by solar energy, emissions are cut by 95%. Once households purchase EVs, their operating costs are often cheaper than gas-based cars, too.
What once used to be a limitation for EVs - the question of how far the car can travel on a single charge - is now much less of a concern. The average range of a battery electric vehicle produced in 2020 is about 217.5 miles, up from 124 miles in 2015.
What’s making this increase in mileage possible is the continuing development in battery capacity. Global EV battery capacity is expected to increase from around 170 GWh per year today to 1.5 TWh per year in 2030. At the same time, the cost of batteries is falling as their production reaches greater scale.
To be on track to remain under 1.5ºC of warming, 100% of passenger cars and vans (p. 138) need to be running on electricity by 2050. This is a jump from 5% of cars and 0% of vans in 2020, respectively. Accomplishing this overhaul of the transportation landscape means EV production and ownership need to continue to expand over the next three decades:
- 11 million EV cars and vans were on the road in 2020
- 2 billion EV cars and vans (100% of total global sales) need to be on the road by 2050
This would require a CAGR of 18.94% from 2018-2050
The Lion Electric Company manufactures all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles, school buses and minibuses in North America. They're based in Saint-Jérôme, Canada, and their shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on May 7, 2021.
LEV's Role in Drawdown
Lion Electric sells all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles like trucks, minibuses and school buses. Their product portfolio (p. 9) includes seven purpose-built electric truck and school bus models, with eight more planned to be commercialized by the end of 2022.
Lion Electric also offers customized vehicle charging infrastructure solutions for electric trucks and buses through their Lion Energy business segment. This segment also boasts partnerships (p. 18) with other technology companies like ABB and Blink, both of which are included in the Climate Index.
They're also developing (p. 21) a battery and battery management system that are tailor-fit for their lineup of electric trucks and buses. Their battery management system is designed to keep the temperature in the battery pack within a fixed range of between 20-30°C. The construction of the battery manufacturing plant in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada in the latter half of 2022.
Electric trucks and buses, charging infrastructure, and batteries to power these vehicles all add much-needed momentum to the global effort to electrify the transport sector.
LEV: What We Like
We'll update this section once Lion Electric makes sustainability information available.