The main factor preventing carbon emission reductions? Over-reliance on fossil fuel for energy & transport
As the climate crisis rages on and protests for climate action happen all over the world, peoples and nations worldwide struggle with implementing a sustainable alternative to the biggest cause of carbon emissions: fossil fuels.
The backbone of the fossil fuel strangle-hold on the world economy is cars and, particularly in the US, a transportation infrastructure based on solo drivers and individual cars. Because of this, a fossil fuel alternative is hard to obtain without the use of fossil fuels themselves throughout the process.
The European Union, for example, despite being the top funds provider for global projects aimed at fighting against the climate crisis, has also provided funding and subsidies for fossil fuels at the same time. However, on Friday, November 8th, the European Union Finance Ministers backed a declaration to end all fossil fuel funding for the first time.
After previously only agreeing to end funding for coal power plants, they issued a joint statement with the EU calling “to phase out financing of fossil fuel projects, in particular those using solid fossil fuels, taking into account the sustainable development, and energy needs, including energy security, of partner countries.”
The European Investment Bank’s official decision regarding the matter is unclear as a number of countries push for the continuance of gas funding in the face of the EU’s general fear that those countries would turn to Russia for help. The EIB board will meet on November 14th to further discuss this policy issue.
Tesla’s Mission and Vision is Coming to Fruition
Fortunately, Tesla has been aware of this complex socioeconomic issue from its establishment, and they are the leading cause of change and innovation that combats this issue on all fronts.
On May 9, 2019, Tesla’s twitter account released a thread detailing the company’s mission and how they plan to execute it in a multitude of ways as they go forward. Their mission is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
The first part of their “Master Plan” to realize this mission is to influence the auto industry to transition to electric power because the current leading cause of global CO2 emissions is the constant use of fossil fuels for transportation, especially in the U.S., where its infrastructure primarily relies on transportation via solo, gas-powered cars with individual drivers.
Tesla accomplished this by designing the Tesla Roadster, Model S, Model X, Model 3, and the upcoming Model Y to prove that “people didn’t need to compromise to drive all-electric” in order to benefit the environment.
Tesla’s planned impact on the auto industry is clearly a success as various hybrid and all-electric model cars are set for deliveries in 2020.
Tesla Successfully Influences Auto Industry to Embrace EVs as ‘Sexy & Fun’
As Tesla’s founding ethos of making sustainable transportation fun and ‘sexy’ is proven to be successful, many car manufacturers are following suit by moving towards producing hybrid and/or all-electric vehicles that guarantee a high quality that lives up to, or even surpasses, their long-established, gas-powered, vehicle brand names.
On Sunday, November 17th, it looks like Ford is about to jump on this trend first introduced by Tesla and incorporated into the recent practices of renowned car manufacturers, like Lamborghini, Porsche, and Jeep.
Porsche and Jeep have already produced hybrid plug-in versions of their iconic Cayenne and Wrangler models as a movement towards sustainable energy, but Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is going to be the first all-electric SUV to bear a name originally reserved for a trademark, powerful, gas-powered, “muscle” car.
This marks a major shift in values for traditional automakers. At first, car manufacturers would produce moderate-to-low quality electric vehicles just to pacify the environmentalist demographic, essentially putting the carbon emissions reduction burden on consumers, who rightfully find that sacrificing the quality transportation that they deserve in the name of saving the planet is too inconvenient, rather than themselves for failing to give consumers a compatible alternative to their gas-powered vehicles.
But now, with Tesla’s burgeoning global success in high-quality EV sales, the demand for electric vehicles has finally increased to a level that traditional auto companies were unable (or unwilling) to achieve. As a result, high-quality EV production is finally at the top of production priorities in heightening the possibility for a real start toward a sustainable future.
Auto Companies Rushing Forward to Ramp Up EV Production in Fear of Losing the Market to Tesla
Audi, Mercedes and BMW all have big projects for EV production, and have, in essence, capitulated and conceded that EVs will be 100% of the car market in the relatively near future, within a decade for example. They are now concerned that Tesla will dominate with a massive market share if they do not start working to catch up. And if this shift isn’t seen in the various hybrid and electric models coming out in 2020, it demonstrates a clear trend, based on recent auto company investments and factory expansions.
On Wednesday, November 13th, Volkswagen unveiled an $800 million investment into an expansion project for their Cattanooga, Tennessee factory to be turned into VW’s main base for electric vehicle manufacturing in North America. They also expect to introduce 1,000 new jobs at the factory through the 564,000-square-foot body shop addition that’s part of the expansion.
In light of their 2015 emissions cheating scandal, the expansion is also a piece of Volkswagen’s broad plan to turn away from diesel, which globally entails a $50 billion commitment towards EV development and production.
Volkswagen’s expansion will also enable the production of their all-electric compact SUV, the VW ID.4, by mid-2022, which is expected to compete with Tesla’s Model Y, which will begin production in early 2020.
Thanks to Tesla’s success, this insurgence of EV popularity amongst consumers is forcing auto companies to measure up to the high-quality Tesla standard, which indicates that the tipping point leading to a clean energy future through sustainable transportation has arrived.
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